United States President Gerald Ford in scheduled to visit South Korea on Friday (22 November) for a twenty-four hour official visit.
United States President Gerald Ford in scheduled to visit South Korea on Friday (22 November) for a twenty-four hour official visit. The American President is at the moment in Japan.
Part of the President's stay will be taken up with a visit to the graves of American servicemen killed in the Korean war, and by an inspection of Camp Casey - the United States base placed strategically between the South Korean capital, Seoul, and the Demilitarised Zone on the border with North Korea.
President Ford's visit comes at a time when United States' relations with South Korea have reached a turning point. American liberals are calling for a reduction of military aid to South Korea. They allege that the rule of President Park Chung Hee is becoming increasingly repressive.
Leading opponents of the Park administration have recently been imprisoned ...and student demonstrations at Seoul University (calling for democratic reforms) were harshly quelled.
United States military assistance has taken the burden of South Korea's defence, allowing the country's economy to expand rapidly in recent years. But it seems probable that this aid - and the continuing presence of United Nations Forces - will be cut back in the near future. South Korean Government officials have put forward the idea of a rapprochement with China to compensate for the eventual withdrawal.