SOUTH KOREA: Threatening a pre-emptive strike, swiftly responding to missile tests, and telling “rude boy” leader Kim Jong Un to behave: South Korea’s next president looks set to get tough on the nuclear-armed North, analysts say. For the last five years Seoul has pursued a policy of engagement with Pyongyang, brokering high-level summits between Kim and then-US president Donald Trump while reducing joint US military drills the North sees as provocative.
For President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol — who won a close election by a razor-thin margin Thursday — this “subservient” approach has been a manifest failure.
The outgoing administration of President Moon Jae-in “volunteered to play middleman between the US and North Korea but was dumped by both in the end,” Yoon said in a pre-election Facebook post.
Since the start of the year, Pyongyang has conducted a record-breaking nine weapons tests, including of banned hypersonic and medium range ballistic missiles. After the North test-fired what it claimed was a reconnaissance satellite component Saturday — Seoul said it was a disguised ballistic missile — Yoon, 61, said the youthful Kim needed to be taken in hand.
“If you give me a chance, I will teach him some manners,” he said.
On the campaign trail, he said Kim was a “rude boy”, and promised that once he was in power, he would make the North Korean leader “snap out of it”. – NDTV