When Japan lost control over Republic of Korea (ROK) at the end of the World War II, the Soviet Union along with the United States split the Peninsula into two territories, as they promised for national elections which never took place. This led to the disagreement of Washington and Moscow, forcing the United Nations to declare the ROK with its capital in Seoul as a legitimate government on the Peninsula in 1948.
However, the Soviet rejected the assertion, and in 1950, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was invaded (Lee, 2011). The United States came to the aid of South Korea, and war ensued until 1953, when a ceasefire froze the front line at the thirty-eighth parallel. In summary, this paper will therefore discuss on the relationship between the United States of America and ROK (South Korea) from the Korean War to the current period.
The United States 'relations with the Republic of South Korea have been most intense since 1948. Various sources report that this relation was perhaps inevitable because South Korea was established by the U.S. And was saved during the Korean War in 1950 to 1953, by the United States-initiated. South Korea is one of the U.S.A. most important strategic partners in Asia, and for many years, the relations between these two countries have been at their best state (Lee, 2011). The Since the end of the Korean War, it is evident that the U.S. And the ROK have maintained strong ties. Studies shows that United State and South Korea have been allies since 1950s and this is the major reasons why the members of Congress were much interested in South-related issues for various reasons. South Korea at first came under U.S. protection in 1945; its republic was unready for democracy in many years (France-Presse, 2013). Study shows that South Korea for its entire history had been under authoritarian rule, from kingdoms and dynasties to Japanese colonists. South Korea has also achieved many objectives, which were considered preconditions for democracy that include economic growth, high level of education as well as, a cohesive cultural and social makeup (U.S. Relations With South Korea, 2014).
United States and South Korea are important economic partners to each another. Over 60 billion dollars of trade volume between these two countries displays a great significant economic independence between the states of Korea and U.S.. However, according to the report given, South Korea seems to be much more economically reliant on the U.S. than United States is on South Korea. Actually, this is supported with the fact since the U.S. ranks first as a trading partner of the South Korea. However, policy brief that the exports ration to the U.S. had significantly declined from 40% to less than 20% in 2002 (Lee, 2011).
The ROK relation with United States of America have been extensive since 1950, when the U.S. government helped in establishing a modern state of South Korea and fought its UN- sponsored side in the Korean War (1950-1953) (Power, 2007). During this four decades, South Korea experienced terrific political, economical as well as military growth, which significantly reduced the dependency of the United States. From the administration of Roh Tae-woo to Roh Moo-hyun, South Korea managed to establish an American partnership; this made Seoul-Washington relationship subject to a number of strains, especially with the anti-United States or Korean sentiments. However, research has also shown that the relation between these two countries; that is, South Korea and United States have greatly strengthened under the conservative (France-Presse, 2013).
In August 1945, there was an agreement made between Washington and Moscow that the ROK was to be partitioned temporarily at the thirty eighth parallel. This act was actually a turning point for the modern Korean history. The temporary partitioning of Korea hardened into a de facto, hence a de jure division of these two mutually hostile states. The Establishment of a Soviet-sponsored DPRK and a U.S. supported ROK in 1948 contributed to the end of political and administrative unity for the Korean nation. War is always a risky business, however as countries use raw political force in achieving their objectives, one country seems to offer a high likelihood of success at the end (Weitz, 2012).
In 1953, the ROK and United States agreed to a military alliance, which was referred to as "the relationship forged in blood" and in 2009, these two countries were able to develop the alliance's vision for future defense cooperation. It is somehow factual that should the war presume again, South Korean forces would fall under the U.S. control (France-Presse, 2013). Research also showed that the members of Congress and the staff are still optimistic concerning the future of the U.S. And South Korea relationship in general. Today, there are various issues in U.S. And ROK relationship that seemed to have received greatest attention in Congress; these include the North Korea's nuclear weapons and human rights abuses which perceived the growth of the Anti-Americanism in South Korea (Lee, 2011).
The longstanding United States and South Korea alliance was established during the Cold War as an embankment against the expansion of communist in Asia. Among the many issues that arose was the disagreement on how to handle a generational divide especially in the United States military and South Korea on the alliance, which underpins it as well as, the disagreements which occurred during bilateral trade negotiations in 2007 (France-Presse, 2013). However, in this same year, the two countries managed to sign a bilateral free trade accord as they agreed to the rearrangement of the military command structures which gave Seoul a greater say in its defense. In the period after the war, researches carried out showed that South Korea experienced a great political turmoil under much autocratic leadership; however, they managed to develop a vocal civil society which led to strong protests in opposition to authoritarian rule. In the 1980s, the pro-democracy activities were intensified and South Korea began the transition of what became a democratic system. The relation between United States and South Korea ties was mainly based on the common values of democracy, rule of law as well as, human rights (Weitz, 2012).
Research showed that since 2009, the United States and South Korea have accelerated steps in reforming the U.S. And ROK Alliance. For instance, Washington and Seoul initiated plans that helped to relocate the U.S. troops at the same time boosting the capabilities of ROK defense. Some Members of Congress on the other hand, criticized the relocation, thus slowing the planned defense budget. In addition, provocations from North Korea have been an issue since this has propelled integrated bilateral planning used in responding to contingencies, for example, by adopting some policies so as to respond more quickly (Lee, 2011). The signing up of anew five-year Special Measures Agreement (SMA) in January 2014 is an evidence to show that the United States and South Korea had fully decided to work together, under which Seoul will raise its host nation support payments for U.S. forces in Korea by 6%, to around $870 million per year (U.S. Relations With South Korea, 2014).
Today, the U.S. relations with South Korea alliance have greatly expanded into a deep and a comprehensive global partnership. This is significant in a way that it has led to the growth of South Korea's regional and global leaders. In 2010, a research showed that South Korea managed to host the G-20 Summit, Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, Nuclear Security Summit in 2012, and in 2013, the nation hosted Seoul Conference on Cyberspace. South Korea is a committed member of different global nonproliferation regimes, as one with the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) as well as, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) (Lee, 2011).