Among the many curious positions Donald Trump staked out during the campaign marathon that’s just ended: South Korea is getting a free ride … that it pays nothing for its own defence. It’s outrageous, he charges, that South Korea freeloads from the American taxpayer.
He’s half-right. It would be outrageous. If it were true. But it’s not.
This tiny country, coping with a maniacal neighbour that wants to destroy it, in fact contributes hundreds of millions of dollars each year to help pay for American troops on its soil, and also maintains a tough half-million strong army of its own.
Canada’s honour is at stake here. Six decades ago, we sacrificed more than 500 killed to defend the fledgling little republic as it fought for its life and eventually matured into a vibrant democracy (and please note, USA: with a woman president). This was a worthy and noble endeavour and when Mr Trump implies South Korea is an unworthy, freeloading deadbeat, then Canadians should feel affronted.
November 11th is a good day to contemplate this. It’s to be hoped Mr. Trump, the President will be more gracious and better informed than Mr. Trump, the Candidate.
I touched on this in an earlier blog … here’s the full version: