President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol may pursue North Korea policies more in line with Washington than his predecessor, while there could be differences between South Korea and the U.S. when it comes to expanding Seoul's defense and deterrence capabilities.
This is according to the U.S. CRS' latest report called 'South Koreans Elect a New President.'
Introducing Yoon as South Korea's new leader, the report said his win likely signals greater alignment with the U.S. on various issues, including policies toward North Korea, China, Japan and the Indo-Pacific.
Pointing to statements from the president-elect over the course of his campaign, and at the press briefing after his victory, CRS predicted that Yoon will chase policies that align with Washington's stance, more closely than those of the incumbent President.
Yoon has insisted that he will only sit down for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when the regime's complete and verifiable denuclearization is guaranteed.
But the report also pointed out possible gaps between Seoul and Washington, referring to Yoon's statement over boosting offensive strike capabilities and enhanced missile defense in conjunction with the U.S. alliance.
In past inter-Korean clashes, the U.S. often pressured the South to rein in its military response.
The report further stated Yoon's pledge to provide unconditional humanitarian aid to North Koreans and to normalize South Korea-U.S. military exercises.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.