"The US government has made it a rule not to transfer fuel for nuclear-powered submarines to *any country,* regardless of whether they are allies or not – in line with its principle of non-proliferation."

That's fine. SKorea has other options.

Asking the US to help SKorea with starting its own nuclear submarine program was always going to get a no. It couldn't hurt to ask, of course. But now that the US has said no (it still can't hurt to keep asking), SKorea can also choose to shop elsewhere.
The French were willing to help SKorea with its nuclear program in the 1970s but were stopped from doing so by the US. I don't see why the French wouldn't be willing to help now, or why the French would be more keen to listen to Washington either. The US ain't what it used to be.
If not the French, SKorea can ask Russia for help. Last I checked, the Russian government appears to be willing to sell just about anything to just about anyone.

Hell, if it comes to it, SKorea could even ask Brazil for help. They've got a nuclear submarine program, too.
The fact that the SKorean government sends its officials to the US first to ask for help with starting our nuclear submarine program is really a courtesy call. It's our way of showing respect and deference to a powerful ally.

But this isn't 1975 anymore.
SKorea isn't as weak as it used to be in 1975, and the US isn't the only one with all the cards anymore. The world has changed. And while the ROK-US alliance remains our backbone, if the US isn't willing to offer assistance with one thing, we can shop elsewhere.
It's not just NKorea that SKorea has to guard against. We also have to keep an eye out for China. And if things get really bad, it's not impossible that we might have to guard ourselves against Japan, too. So even if the US said no, that's not going to stop SKorea from trying.
But if for some reason the rest of the world believes that SKorea having a nuclear submarine program is just a step too far even though no one bats an eye at Brazil having its own nuclear submarines, we can always just deploy more rockets and missiles.


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More from @koreanforeigner

18 Oct
If Biden wins the election, one of the first things he should do is to set up a trilateral leadership summit with Moon Jae-in and Suga Yoshihide. It will likely require a lot of arm-twisting and ego-bruising, but something has to be done for this trilateral alliance to survive.
This is not an infantilization of SKorea or Japan. It is not "White Knighting" the US either. Anyone who thinks this is the case clearly only has a superficial understanding of this troubled partnership between the three democratic nations.
The relation between SKorea and Japan goes back a long way. For SKorea, it comes down to identity. Our history, present, and future has been and will continue to be shaped by the 35 years we were occupied by Japan. It also has to do with our own demons.
Read 16 tweets
17 Oct
We have reached the point where even immigration (a measure that has long faced heavy resistance) might not be able to resolve our demographic problem.
Some possible ideas to offset SKorea's demographic timebomb: Looser immigration policies, permanently do away with minjok-ism, adopt English as our 2nd national language, ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW, adopt UBI, accelerate R&D on AI, expand and force parental leave for men and women..
..chaebol reform to enforce more even economic opportunities for small businesses, thorough and long-term education to eradicate patriarchal biases in society, increased and improved legal protection for women, education reform to radically change how English is taught in school.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
Classy. A SKorean cartoonist has portrayed Park Sang-hak, a NKorean defector, as a mad dog.

미친X means mad dog. The X was used because adding the word dog would have been an insult. Because THAT would have been over the line.

The caption: "I will report Moon Jae-in to the UN."

Park Sang-hak is a NKorean defector and chairman of Fighters for a Free North Korea (자유북한운동연합). FFNK is the organization that periodically launches balloons carrying human rights and pro-democracy leaflets, DVDs, and USB flash drives from SKorea to NKorea.
Last month, after Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong Un's sister, threatened SKorea over the leaflets sent by activists, SKorea's ruling Minjoo Party sponsored five separate bills in the National Assembly to ban leaflet drops from and around the DMZ.
Read 16 tweets
21 Jun
Controversy and internal squabbling erupted within SKorea's main opposition party - the United Future Party - after former National Assemblyman Jeong Byeong-guk suggested that the party removes the portraits of former presidents Syngman Rhee, Park Chung Hee, and Kim Young Sam.
Syngman Rhee is SKorea's first president. He was an authoritarian leader who oversaw SKorea's fight against NKorea during the Korean War. His government was also corrupt and was also responsible for gross human rights abuses (see Jeju Uprising).

Park Chung Hee was SKorea's strongman and dictator. While many conservatives like to remember Park as the leader who helped to transition SKorea into the modern economic powerhouse it is today, he was also responsible for gross human rights abuses.

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21 May
For the past two weeks, one of the biggest news stories circulating in SKorea (and my God, the drama!) has been regarding comfort women being taken advantage of by an NGO that represents them.

This is a brief summary.
Let's start out with some background information first.

We all know about comfort women - the women across Asia who were forcibly** recruited to serve as sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army.

**There is some debate about whether or not there is evidence that the Japanese government itself was legally responsible for this. According to Professor Park Yu-ha who wrote "Comfort Women of the Empire," no such evidence exists.

Read 31 tweets
10 May
There is an excessively high concentration of coffee shops, bakeries, chicken and beer restaurants, and convenience stores in Seoul. If you randomly threw a rock at any small business, there's a very good chance you'll hit one of these four establishments.
As of February 2019, there are 87,000 chicken and beer eateries in SKorea.


To show how crazy that number is, we have to consider the fact that as of February 2019, there are 38,695 McDonald's restaurants *throughout the world.*

Coffee shops are just as concentrated. Seoul has more Starbucks stores than any other city in the world. But of course, Starbucks isn't the only business that sells coffee. It seems like almost everyone and their grandmothers sell coffee.

Read 30 tweets

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