By Betsy Pisik
The Washington Times
April 17, 2008
NEW YORK — Four years ago, a poll of cadets at South Korea’s premier military academy found more entrants considered the United States their nation’s worst enemy — worse than North Korea.
Today, Washington leaders will meet a new South Korean president who is determined to change that frame of mind.
“The days of ideology are over. The politicization of alliance relations shall be behind us. We shall not let ideology and politics blind us from common interests, values and norms,” Lee Myung-bak told the Korean Society at the beginning of a five-day trip to the U.S.
Mr. Lee, sworn in for a five-year term just two months ago, also enjoys a majority in South Korea’s legislature for his conservative Grand National Party.
The recent presidential and parliamentary elections mark a sharp turn in South Korea’s political climate, with voters weary after spending billions of dollars in hopes of promoting peace with North Korea only to see the North develop and test an atomic bomb.