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South Korean Citizens Devastated About Trump's Victory

By November 10, 2016 at 8:54 am
A U.S. soldier stands guard in front of U.S. F16 fighter jet at Osan Air Base on January 10, 2016 in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. South Korea and the United States have deployed the B-52 Stratofortress, a long-range strategic bomber over the Korean Peninsul (Photo : Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images Korea)

While South Korean officials held meetings on the potential policy changes, many South Korean citizens were devastated by Trump's victory. Their biggest concerns include the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system known as THAAD on South Korea, Trump's statement about forcing South Korea to pay more for keeping U.S. toops on South Korean soil, and the economy.

Among all the nations surveyed by South China Morning Post, South Korea expressed the lowest rate of support for Trump, at just 3%. This is largely due to Trump threatening to abandon free trade agreements with South Korea.

"I woke up this morning thinking there's no way that Trump's gonna win this," said Park Lyanne at an election-watch party organized by the U.S. Embassy at a hotel in Seoul. "You Americans are scaring me right now. I'm like, America, what are you thinking?"

Park said she was concerned about Trump's views on women and minorities, as well as the uncertainty surrounding his foreign policy.

Shin Ming-yu, a university student, worries that it's "the beginning of isolationism" in America, noting that South Korea has to start adapting to the new realities.

"In order to survive...Korea needs to realize how America's strategy is changing and make a more sophisticated decision of its own in negotiations with the U.S. military, trade and so on," Shin said.

78-year-old retiree Choi Hyungman is worried about his stock portfolio as South Korea saw its shares drop on the news.

He blamed his nation's own presidential scandal for swaying American voters against Clinton. President Park allegedly allowed a longtime friend to hold influence over government policies and other decisions even without a government position.

"Park Geun-hye is becoming a laughing stock around the world," said Choi. "I think Americans didn't vote for Hillary because they were afraid she is also likely to be a global object of ridicule."

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