Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Distrust of Japan still intense in South Korea

In spite of the seemingly shared perception of a North Korean threat, South Korea is still wary of Japan's strategic intention on the Korean Peninsula which it once directly and brutally ruled from 1910 to 1945. Many Korean women were forced to 'serve' Japan' s imperial army as 'comfort women' (euphemism for sex slaves) during the 35-year rule. Certainly, sentiment critical of Japan remains strong in North Korea, which shares the same culture and language with the southern state (as there are also many family ties that cut across the state border). Also, South Korea still disputes Japan's claim over Dokdo/Takeshima. Meanwhile, it is highly likely that at least one of the two amphibious assault ships, which Russia has recently ordered from France, will be stationed near the Kurils/Northern Territories where Russia contests Japan's claim on the ownership of the islands with increasing efforts.

Dangerous rhetoric amid ROK's live-fire drills