Small Wars Journal

South Korea

Breaking News Analysis: Conservatives Sweep the Seoul-Busan By-Elections

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 12:37pm

Special News Item & Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

Blue Roof Politics · by TK · April 7, 2021

For those who follow South Korea domestic politics here is a useful initial analysis of the elections today.

From this analysis we can see domestic issues as the driving force behind the conservative "sweep." 

Significant excerpt: Exit polls show that young men are rapidly turning conservative.  This election is the first real-world manifestation of the trend that has been appearing in the opinion polls for the past few years: young men of South Korea - particularly those in the 20s, and to a lesser degree in their 30s - are making a sharp conservative turn. According to the exit polls, 72.5% of male voters who are in their 20s and younger voted for the conservative candidate - higher even than the male voters who are in their 60s and older. In contrast, 44% of the female voters who are in their 20s and younger voted for the liberal candidate, one of only two demographics that favored Park Yeong-seon over O Se-hun. No other age group shows this level of gender gap, indicating a particularly toxic brand of sexism among South Korea's young men.”

The question for us is how will this affect the Moon administration between now and the 2022 Presidential election? (and will a conservative candidate win that election breaking the cycle of 2 liberal presidents followed by 2 conservative presidents followed by 2 liberal presidents?) And more specifically how will this affect the Moon administration's north Korea policy (the peace agenda) and the ROK/US alliance?  This will require further analysis and I hope to hear from my Korean friends about this.

Graphics at the link.


To Reunify a Polarized Peninsula: Complex Warfare with Korean Characteristics

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 12:14am
Using concepts of complex warfare from previous SWJ articles on China and Japan, this article applies the same holistic approach to Korean security strategies in the information environment, with comparisons to strategies from China and Japan. To discern how the Koreas wage complex warfare using both cooperation and confrontation today, we’ll start with world view, threat assessment, and combined effects strategy. Understanding these aspects of the information environment is critical to producing superior effects—the great-results test of any “power” or actor.

About the Author(s)

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