Korea Might Be Realigning Towards China

spandrell [Korean link]:


Deep history in action?

Vietnam: Rebelling against China since before Christ – turns commie (if with a marked nationalist brand, as Linh Dinh will tell you); hates China anyway, and building defense ties with the US.

Korea: Near always a loyal vassal to China – gets bifurcated thanks largely to China, becomes ferociously anti-commie (ask, for that matter, the Vietnamese – South Korean troops were more motivated, effective, and brutal than American ones during the Vietnam War), hosts 25,000 American troops on its territory, but has long maintained warm ties with China and is now apparently prepared to sidle up closer.

Food for thought*.

Anyhow, this would be a major coup for the Sinosphere.

South Korea is the world’s third most technologically complex economy, and while its future doesn’t seem that prospective (last year its TFR fell below 1.0 children per woman, and twice smaller North Korea probably had more births for the first time ever), tech transfer in the meantime could be a major boon for China.

One additional important point is that South Korea also has good relations with Russia. These should be aggressively developed, as it is perhaps the only quality country that is quite Russophile. Better relations with South Korea will help undercut Western sanctions, while avoiding too lopsided a reliance on China for that function – while not coming at the expense of relations with China, since it has good (and improving) relations with Korea too. In contrast, Japan is too hostile to Russia, while Vietnam and India don’t really have anything interesting to offer – and have bad relations with China, besides.

* This would also further confirm that theory that formal ideological alignments play a much lesser role in East Asia than they do amongst Europeans.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. reiner Tor says

    the only quality country that is quite Russophile

    Why is Korea Russophile? If it is, I don’t know.

  2. Ok, that is an exaggeration. I thought it was at around 50%-60%, but it’s actually 36% pro-Russian (so, merely similar to the less anti-Russian EU countries such as Italy).


    Possibly, old polls have become fixed in my mind.

    Still – they were the only developed country to abstain in the last UN vote on Crimea, as opposed to voting against Russia.


    One more point: I strongly suspect that the generational Russophobe/Russophile gradient is very pronounced in Korea, probably more so even in the US. To old Koreans, Russia is the country that helped bifurcate their nation. To young Koreans, its Europe a short air flight away.

  3. reiner Tor says

    Apparently – apart from Greece – we are now officially the most Russophile nation in Europe. I wouldn’t have believed it a couple decades ago.

  4. reiner Tor says

    South Korea is still better than Italy, because of the fewer unfavorables. Simply fewer South Koreans have an opinion about Russia, hence the relatively low favorable ratings.

  5. Very interesting.
    Given the obvious: The Thucydides trap. China overtaking US as largest Economy will lead to a great clash – perhaps open warfare, but at the least the attempt to isolate China from Western Trading groups and sanctions on NK, Russia, Iran etc being used as a warning to anyone who does not tie in with US.
    So if SK leans towards China that makes China a much much stronger trading alternative (and restricts US resistance to China’s attempts at a more balanced distribution of military force in Pacific)

  6. http://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/

    Repeatedly since the Clinton era, it has cramped Washington’s style on international trade, for instance. And trade, of course, is absolutely central to the new administration’s program.

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

    Like Japan, South Korea is some friend. They are economic aggressors against the US that the US gives favoured nation status on trade, and defends militarily at great cost to American taxpayers. Korea and Japan are allies of China in the things that count.

  7. My impression of younger Koreans in America is that they blame the US. I doubt any blame China, which is strange.

    But if they hit upon any mark, it is by accident, since even the average Korean college student is surprisingly ignorant of history. Holds doubly true of Korean girls, like any others.

  8. AquariusAnon says

    This is a pretty interesting poll, from December 2018:


    Note that South Korea has 53% approval rating of Russia, jumping up to 62% in the 18-29 crowd.

    The US has the least difference between age groups, which is something I felt too: The millennial and Gen-Z liberals are even more hysterically anti-Russian than the boomers, but when it comes to conservative 18-29 white Americans, I’d say Russia’s approval rating definitely reaches 40%. But since the liberals are the ones who will take over the reigns of the US, Russophobia, or in fact, phobia against any illiberal white majority or white-run nation, will only increase.

    And Japan isn’t that Russophobic. Its mostly because of the Kurils Islands issue, which will be sorted out by 2020, and to a lesser extent that the old generation still associates Russia with the Soviet Union. Afterwards, they’ll start climbing South Korean levels of Russophilia.

    Poland’s 18-29 reaching 35% pro-Russia is a good sign. It seems that EU Russophobia is already dying down and relations will likely really start returning to normal in the next decade: Essentially 1 decade behind Belarus in that regard.

    Australia really surprised me here. I have no clue whats going on. Combined with its massive (15% and rapidly growing) Asian population, perhaps it might end up also choosing to break free from the US’s orbit?

    I’d say that once the Kurils issue is sorted out, Japan-Russian relations are very important. They provide a further economic alternative to South Korea, and strong Russo-Japan relations will prevent Japan from falling into American neoliberalism.txt, and send a clear message to China that Russia, while still a close bilateral partner, will never be a Chinese vassal like Pakistan currently is, that it can use as its personal attack dog to confront countries that China doesn’t like. Likewise for promoting Russo-Indian and Russo-Vietnamese relations.

    P.S. South Korean tourists to Vladivostok are rising by 150% a year, and that’s almost all the 18-29 crowd. Russia’s Ministry of Tourism should approach Korean tourism by saying that Vladivostok was only a short trial/sample of Russia, and that the “main dish” should be a 8-10 day tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    If this can be successfully pulled off and young Korean tourists in Moscow/St. Petersburg reach a critical mass, they will be the first nationality to be the high quality, high volume tourists injecting money into the country and patronizing the SWPL culture that Dmitry is looking for.

    Japanese tourism to Vladivostok seems to be rising quite sharply too.

  9. AquariusAnon says

    Yeah, young Koreans are surprisingly pretty anti-US. After Turkey, I think they’ll be the next down the line to successfully break free from the American Empire; the 25,000 US troops won’t last much longer in Korea.

    If Korea ever joins the “Axis of Resistance”, it will be become the first industrialized country to do so, plus they even have a well developed entertainment industry that’s able to provide a complete alternative to Hollywood.

    I’m definitely not ruling out South Korea to do just that, if just to raise its international stature and to successfully tap into North Korea’s potential cheap labor base to offset its own population decline.

  10. Why does the Philippines have such a favorable view of Russia? What is the cheapest price that Russia is willing to sell Su-30s and modern 3000 ton frigates with AESA?

  11. As a Korean, Anglos and Jews are the bad whites. They are our enemies and this transcends whatever government or economic order there is. Anglos and Jews are only good to keep relations with to get their money.

    I am a Russophile and consider non Anglo/Jewish whites to be compatible with our society and a benefit. I would definitely rather see us join the China/Russia axis.

    @Sean, Koreans know America shoulders most of the blame for dividing the country and for keeping it divided today.

  12. “And Japan isn’t that Russophobic. Its mostly because of the Kurils Islands issue, which will be sorted out by 2020, and to a lesser extent that the old generation still associates Russia with the Soviet Union. Afterwards, they’ll start climbing South Korean levels of Russophilia.”

    I can’t completely agree with the statement above. It’s true in my experience that Japanese citizens who have had family connections with the so-called 北方領土 (“Northern Territory/Territories”) are most vocal about their dislike of Russia for the reason of Russia’s occupation (or what the Japanese view as a sneaky theft) of those territories toward the end of WWII; these individuals tend to reside in Hokkaido now. However, for the majority of Japanese, their dislike of Russia and Russians is more for cultural or even some sort of atavistic (or at least obscure to me) reasons. Russians are stereotyped by the Japanese as classless, unreliable, treacherous tramps and vixens. They view them (and northern Europeans in general to some extent) as the prototypical honeypot.

  13. Japan is absolutely critical for a new China/Russia axis to take hold. Right now their country is in decline because they foolishly devalued their currency to boost exports. But as a Korean who has no love for Japan, I understand they are a potent people and are better as an allie than foe.

    A China/Russia/United Korea/Japan axis with free trade and security concerns worked out would be the most powerful region in the world which is why the West will stop at nothing to stop it from forming.

  14. their world leading semi conductor industry is essential to the resistance.


  15. Are they wrong?

  16. “Yeah, young Koreans are surprisingly pretty anti-US.”

    Actually this is hardly surprising at all. During the 70s and early 80s there were waves of anti-US protests in South Korea, culminating in the Gwangju massacre in the 1980 resulting in hundreds of peaceful democracy demonstrators gunned down by the government force. The US was perceived, perhaps justifiably so, of siding with the South Korean government. Things only subsided when South Korea became democratic. A generation of South Koreans grew up in the 1970s demonstrating against the US was a pretty mainstream activity back then. Psy, of Gangnam style fame is an example.

    If the US don’t play its cards right and the Koreans perceive the US is a hindrance to its country unification things can turn ugly again.

  17. It makes more sense to look at the unfavorable opinions than the favorable, for many if not most of the favorables could be the good people of all nations who just want everyone to get along.

    Looking at the unfavorables:

    1. North America, Western Europe, Japan, Israel and Turkey are the most hostile towards Russia.

    2. Subsaharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America are all regions that are below the global median in disliking Russia.

    3. India and Vietnam have by far the lowest unfavorable opinions of Russia, but both of them have a history of conflict with Russia’s partner in this axis, China.

    4. South Korea is at the global median in this chart. If South Korea changes allegiance, as is looking less unlikely now, it would be a very big deal indeed.

  18. http://www.pewglobal.org/?attachment_id=43158

    So according to this poll 62% of South Korean 18 to 49 year olds have a favorable opinion of Russia. Probably close to 100% of North Koreans of all ages would say the same.

    Which makes Koreans and Vietnamese the 2 most Russophile people on Earth.

  19. Anarcho-Supremacist says

    If we lived in a rational world the North Korea would become an ally of Japan and the US but realites will not let that happen. The Japanese hate NK more then SK does. No reason for a United Korea to be pro west/us and anti China. We will see maybe Japan can do what Thacher and Mitterrand failed to do? With Japan’s pro washinton dick sucking I doubt it.

  20. Anarcho-Supremacist says

    Proabbly because the Japanese have at least a perceived hatred of Russia. Its an irrational and strategically inconvenient fear.

  21. Anarcho-Supremacist says

    I think many Japanese suffer from the same illogic that many “Cold Warriors” suffered and many still do suffer from. USSR and Commnism is one in the same with Russia and Pan Slavism

  22. Culture is definitely key.

    Some years ago, I was disappointed to watch a newer Japanese movie, and see the same jittery, quick shots now common in Hollywood. A pity, as once they had a fairly promising live-action film industry. Though I suppose they have other popular outputs.

    I’ve been meaning to sample more Korean entertainment. So far, I’ve seen only about 3 or 4 movies and liked 1. I guess that is a about a normal ratio.

    As for China, frankly, I preferred the HK days, but I still have a lot of hope they’ll improve.

    European stuff unfortunately tends to be too artsy or enriched for my taste. A pity, once the UK was a pretty good competitor.

  23. Food for thought


    There was another thread, now suspended, on China’s national myth being post communist. A century ago they said Chinese civ came from White Steppe invaders. Then they said well Sumerians mixed with these white men then came to China.

    Some big manuscript find changed all this,

    A lot of supposedly old European folk songs were completely fabricated in 19thc books & then openly passed off as real.

    Historical mish mash doesn’t matter. E Asians aren’t an alien people, and Koreans are fellow christcucks.

    They’ll play nice to China because the money is there & USA is seen as a declining power with a host of demographic & cultural issues.

    There’s also no real way for the USA to punish low level defection.

    Simple feudal politics explains this behavior far more than mystical racial explanations.

    But then that’s what HBDcels live for

  24. On the whole, I agree with your points. But I think Russia and India are working together on many projects such as the BrahMos cruise missile and the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam. India is acquiring the S-400 system from Russia. India is also making some progress in AI.


  25. Meh, a bit premature to say this

    I want to see public opinion at least 60~70% friendly to China before I feel like we have a real friend, otherwise it’s just temporary policy that doesn’t really reflect sentiments on the ground

  26. Thucydides trap doesn`t exist, lol.

  27. Indians and Russians are not really culturally compatible, though. Just compare the movies that they tend to make. India’s Bollywood is even more flashy and surface-level than the US Hollywood (which at least makes attempts to be “deep” sometimes, though they’re usually cringe-worthy), while Russians prefer movies that have some substance, even if they’re not flashy (current Hollywood-cargo-cultism in the Russian movie industry is an unpopular historical aberration… it will pass).

    Russians and Koreans…? Well, Russians do have long experience with some native peoples in the far north who seem to be somewhat Korean in look and personality (at least the ones I met were). Also, both North and South Korean urban planning is not too different from the Soviet (high-rise apartments next to forest, with no suburbs). I’m not sure what Koreans value in their films. I get the sense that Koreans (North and South) are more prone to group-think and more polite than Russians…

    Fundamentally, Russian culture is still oriented very strongly towards Western Europe. Almost all the Russian canons in many spheres are based on the European tradition. Even though there’s an awareness of art from further east, and its own indigenous traditions, it will take decades or centuries of concerted effort to shift the cultural focus from West to East, if it’s even possible.

    And the one partial current exception to that, Japan (due to its anime and videogames) is a country whose citizens largely dislike Russia.

    So… the art traditions that Russians cherish come mostly from countries that currently hate Russia, and the countries that currently love Russia have art traditions that Russians aren’t that interested in. The only probable prediction from this is that Russians will prefer to turn inwards for inspiration, more and more.

  28. Russia’s second national anthem is literally a bollywood song, pass the blunt bro. https://youtu.be/hP-COjSYQPk

  29. Korea and Japan are US colonies, they are controlled by the US with economics, media, intelligence agency and military.

    No point in pretending they can make their own policies. China-friendly government in both countries never lasted.

  30. Spandrell is a noseberg.

  31. The South Korean film industry is excellent, akin to Japan’s, nothing like China, which despite it’s size produces little of any real worth. I’ve never even attempted to watch anything from India, less said about their films the better.

    Some great Korean films just off the top of my head:

    • Peppermint Candy
    • Oasis
    • Old Boy
    • Memories of Murder
    • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
    • Joint Security Area
    • I Saw the Devil
    • Nameless Gangster
    • Silmido
    • Poetry
    • Woman on the Beach
    • Burning (probably the best film of 2018)

    All well worth checking out if you’re interested in the country, many are quite self-critical of Korean culture.

  32. Mightypeon says

    Having been in a relation with a Korean girl:

    Cliff notes version:

    Korean stereotypes of Russian (men) are more in line with Chinese rather then Japanese stereotypes.

    Condensed stereotypes of Russians:
    Like to fight, are pretty good at fighting, also fight a bit too much for their own good.
    Same applies to drinking.

    Impressive culture and history, fairly predictable and straightforward.

    Rude, especially while drunk.

    I think it is reasonably accurate. As long as a Russian is not rude, or overly drunk when his Korean friends are not (that seriously shouldnt happen. Koreans like drinking, and can drink more then other Asians other then Mongols, but should not outdrink a Russian) he will make an impression more favorable then the stereotype.

  33. Australia really surprised me here. I have no clue whats going on. Combined with its massive (15% and rapidly growing) Asian population, perhaps it might end up also choosing to break free from the US’s orbit?

    Australia has never gotten anything worthwhile at all from the U.S. alliance, except that we get to die in America’s wars. Back in the 70s the Left in Australia absolutely detested the U.S. and even among non-leftists there was a certain amount of contempt.

    For Australia the U.S. alliance was entirely a response to betrayal by Britain in WW2. The war generation became hysterically pro-American. The Boomers were much more sceptical – being conscripted to die in their pointless wars does tend to lead to scepticism about one’s Great and Powerful friends.

    Nowadays I think most Australians realise that China (and Japan) are valuable trading partners while the U.S. alliance gives us nothing but headaches. Since we’re tied so closely to China economically we can’t very well think of them as a potential enemy.

    Australians have never really felt all that strongly about Russia even in the Cold War days. It was always a bit hard to imagine the Red Army landing in Darwin and then streaming southwards towards Sydney. So in the Cold War China was the big enemy. Then we discovered they would buy stuff from us.

    I would expect Australia to drift slowly towards China’s orbit.