Recommended read: "South Korea's Progressives Need to Grow Up in the Age of Trump"
... should South Korean progressives be tempted to return to their old ways and exploit anti-American sentiments again for any reason whatsoever, Trump’s likely braggadocious response would be less genteel than President George W. Bush’s response was while he was in the White House. Overt acts of anti-Americanism aside, one of the things that Trump ran on was for American allies to become more active in their own self-defense and to increase their share of joint-military budgets with the United States. It’s obvious how further South Korean attempts to maintain the status quo or push away Japan, which weakens the trilateral alliance (and we know what Trump thinks about perceptions of weakness), would be perceived in Washington.
The Korean Foreigner: South Korea's Progressives Need to Grow Up in the Age of Trump
This touches on something I have been thinking about. Koreans, especially the left-leaning ones, overwhelmingly supported Hillary. Just look at this headline, from, you guessed it, Hankoreh:
If they could vote in US election, 82% of S. Koreans would go with Hillary Clinton : International : News : The Hankyoreh
What I've been thinking, though, is how much a President Trump and the Korean left might actually have in common. Both seem to want American military presence in Korea reduced or removed entirely. Both seem against free trade deals between Korea and US. Trump is happy to devolve or reduce Korean dependence on big bad America and let Korea enact its own might (even to the point of nuclear weapons). I bet if you asked him, Trump would think laying down the cash for THAAD is a dumb idea. Under a Trump presidency, the Korean left could potentially be in a position to get some of the things they've wanted for a long time. But I haven't heard any cheers for his administration. Maybe the noise here at home is just too deafening right now.
Well look, I'm no political pundit, so what do I know.