South Korea under Military Rule: Friendly Tyrant?
Through much of its history, Korea has been an authoritarian client-state dwelling in China’s shadow. In accordance with that tradition, for most of the postwar era the Korean peninsula has been notable for the authoritarianism of its two regimes. In both Seoul and Pyongyang, stern — and often harsh — authoritarianism has been the norm. Although there is no moral equivalence between South Korea’s military-backed authoritarianism and the police state in the North, the close bonds between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have earned it the label Friendly Tyrant.
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- 2.See Hur Wha-pyung, “The Military’s Role in South Korean Politics,” in Far Eastern Economic Review, November 19, 1987, pp. 54–55.Google Scholar
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