South Korea

Clinton stands for security, stability

Most South Koreans will be rooting for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's elections, as they think Mr Trump is trouble.

Analysts say Mrs Clinton, familiar to South Koreans as she has made many official visits to the country, is deemed a better choice then her Republican rival Donald Trump as she supports the United States-Korea security alliance and will follow through with existing policies.

The most important among these is the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence anti-missile system, which protects South Korea from North Korea's nuclear threat.

Sogang University's political science professor Kim Jae Chun said Mrs Clinton is "a better fit for us" as she would keep the security alliance and crucial trade deals. "She might have a more robust approach towards North Korea and do more to engage them, but won't go so far as risking military conflict."


Mrs Clinton is a familiar face to South Koreans as she has made many official visits to the country. Due to her support for existing policies and the US-Korea security alliance, she is the preferred candidate to most. PHOTO: REUTERS

 

In contrast, most South Koreans think a win for Mr Trump - nicknamed by some as "Trimp", combining his name and a Korean word for "wrong" - would mean disaster.

The volatile Mr Trump has not only threatened to withdraw US forces stationed in South Korea, but also hinted at scrapping free trade agreements (FTAs).

The English-language Korea Times newspaper has warned that a Trump win will "affect not only the Korea-US FTA but also put an end to globalisation movements, which will deal a blow to Korea's economy, which depends heavily on external trade".

A MOST UN-PRESIDENTIAL TEMPER

He seems incapable of self-editing and self-restraint, which seems catastrophic for international relations.

MS LISA PARK, a housewife, on Trump

Housewife Lisa Park, 40, who has been following the US election coverage, said many Koreans regard Mr Trump as "a clown, not someone to be taken seriously, certainly not the leader of the free world".

"He seems incapable of self-editing and self-restraint, which seems catastrophic for international relations," she added.

Not all Koreans are against a Trump triumph though; North Korean state media DPRK Today hails him as "a prescient presidential candidate", while calling Mrs Clinton "thick-headed Hillary".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2016, with the headline 'Clinton stands for security, stability'. Print Edition | Subscribe