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4/17/2004 02:46:00 AM | Justin

Could Korea's election mean the loss of another important U.S. ally?

The recent landslide election results in South Korea have not gotten much press what with everything going on with Iraq and the 9/11 commission. But its importance may be overlooked considering that South Korea is slated to become the third largest troop contributor in Iraq this June when it is scheduled to increase its troop presence from 600 to 3700. If Korea were to follow Spain's 1300 out of Iraq it could mean an even greater dent in the coalition's international makeup.

The April 15th elections saw the first legislative majority of a left leaning party in South Korea's history. The URI party smashed the pro-US GNP party increasing it's seat count from 49 to 152 (out of 299). While the party says it intends to maintain the troop commitment, it does indicate a shift away from the unconditional US support seen in South Korea since the Korean War. Most noticeably, the party is likely to reinvigorate the sunshine policy toward North Korea, which may ruffle feathers in the Bush Administration. Whether this could eventually endanger Korea's troop committment is unclear, but may be something to watch for.



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