How much are the people of South Korea willing to pay towards the US alliance? TOU

How much are the people of South Korea willing to pay towards the US alliance?


How much are the people of South Korea willing to pay towards the US alliance?

Republic of Korea 2nd Marine Blue Dragon, 1-2 Battalion, 7th Company, Exercise Key Resolve / Fall Eagle 2008 During the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division with US Marines Practice Simulation Grenade.
Deposit: US Marine Corps

Traditional wisdom suggests, such as outside of high-profile scams Rape cases, The South Korean public generally remains positive about the US military presence. This is despite tensions in recent years over the cost of hosting US troops. In 2020, for example, the Trump administration Five times the increase U.S. In South Korea’s payments for military spending, the Moon rejects a 14 percent increase proposed by the administration. The Biden administration eventually agreed Six-year extension With an increase over time.

However, little attention has been paid to what the South Korean people see as a reasonable cost-sharing system and how this is consistent with the overall assessment of US presence.

It is difficult to identify exactly how much South Korea contributes to the total cost of the US presence and, among other factors, may vary depending on the estimated value of land use, with most estimates of South Korea’s commitment. 30 percent To 44 percent. Similarly, most South Koreans do not know the level of actual contribution of their country, but estimate what is acceptable based on the perceived benefits in South Korea-US relations and recent issues.

At the same time, the importance of the South Korea-US alliance can be seen Joint response North Korea has condemned a number of missile tests this year, including one The first IBCM test after 2017. US military presence in South Korea and Japan Provides regional stability, Embassy officials in Seoul express that the presence prevents regional protesters. If so, the South Korean people, uncertain about the deterrent capabilities of their own military, could see the US presence as crucial to maintaining peace. But what price are they willing to pay to maintain that presence?

U.S. To address South Korea’s public perceptions of the military, we conducted a national web survey of 1,107 respondents in South Korea during March 11-16, 2022, conducted by Macromill Embren and used a quota sample for age, gender, and geographic area.


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We first asked: “On a scale of 1 to 5, with strong opposition to 1 and strong support for 5, how do you feel about the presence of American military bases in South Korea?” We found that the majority of respondents stated that they supported attendance (55.83 per cent) to some extent or strongly, compared to only 10.84 per cent who said that they were somewhat or strongly opposed, rates that indicate that people generally attend. Sees as an effective and perhaps cost-effective barrier. For the invasion of North Korea. One-third of respondents expressed neutrality.

We also asked, “From 0 percent to 100 percent, what percentage of the cost of a US military presence in South Korea do you think South Korea should pay?” The average response was 32.08 percent, which is lower than the estimate South Korea currently pays.

Broken by the identity of the political party, we find supporters of the main conservative party, the People’s Power Party (PPP), which favors the US presence (74.02 per cent) with only 2.85 per cent opposition. In contrast, a majority of supporters of the main Liberal Party, the Democratic Party (DP), supported the U.S. presence (49.41 percent) with 17.8 percent opposition.

When shifting to cost-sharing, PPP supporters supported higher contributions (35.62 per cent) than the average DP supporters (31.19 per cent). However, even higher amounts are lower than most estimates of South Korea’s current contribution level. The results suggest that the support of President-elect Eun Suk-yol, although supporting the US presence and the UN’s desire to strengthen ties between the two countries, is unlikely to support high-cost stocks.

We assumed that support for the US presence would be positively corresponding to the desire to raise higher costs. As shown in the figure below, this pattern is very clear, with an average of 9.26 per cent among those strongly opposed to attendance and 42.40 per cent for those with strong support from the cost-sharing. These findings suggest that the current high-end estimates of about 44 percent may be the best that South Korean administrations can offer without the risk of a public backlash.

North Korea was also asked, “In general, do you think the US has the same concerns about North Korea as South Korea?” Here we find that 56.55 percent of respondents say yes, and those respondents suggest that, on average, South Korea should pay more (34.28 percent vs. 30.88 percent of respondents). Again, we think PPP supporters are a little more likely to say yes (60.85 percent) than DP supporters (56.91 percent).

Admittedly, national security decisions such as the Alliance are not based on public approval, but widespread public support in South Korea for a US military presence certainly facilitates the decision. Our findings suggest that the South Korean people will accept the UN’s intention to strengthen South Korea-US security ties, especially as North Korea continues to advance its missile and nuclear capabilities.

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In the long run, maintaining mutual satisfaction in the South Korea-US alliance requires continuous identification of shared security goals and awareness of potential sensitivities for cost-sharing arrangements. The UN will benefit from not renegotiating the cost-sharing arrangement, but its administration wants to find ways to emphasize the value of the relationship to maintain public support for rising costs, perhaps focusing on gradual increases and other confidence-building measures.

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