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PacNet #10 – KORUS as Obamacare: Implications of Calls by Korea’s Opposition Parties to Repeal the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

Explaining US domestic politics to international audiences is never easy. It is particularly difficult during election years. The proposal to grant US statehood to colonies on the moon is hardly the most outlandish proposal to emerge from the ongoing primary contest. Such statements should be taken with a grain of salt as they will presumably be moderated as candidates move to the middle for the general elections and, if elected, face the realities of governance. As South Korea’s own vibrant democracy gears up for general elections in April and a presidential election in December, political parties are similarly seeking to distinguish themselves. While it is important for US observers to place such pre-election posturing in context, one recent pledge by South Korea’s main opposition parties is particularly dangerous, shortsighted, and unrealistic.