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Jonathan Manthorpe: South Korea becoming a “swing state” between the U.S. and China

China is the South’s largest trading partner by far and that gives Seoul options to its habit of unquestioning loyalty to Washington

When South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, arrives in Washington at the end of this week for meetings with Barack Obama, the Americans are going to be very much aware that she cannot be counted on to be an unquestioning Asian ally.

The Korean Peninsula has always been a tough neighbourhood, subject to cultural, economic and physical invasions from China and Japan.

Since four decades of Japanese colonial rule ended at the close of the Second Wo...