SEOUL — Foreign Minister Yoon Young Kwan’s resignation Jan. 15 grabbed headlines in Seoul with South Korean-American relations at the heart of it. Although his successor and career diplomat, Ban Ki Moon, has promised to clean house, this won’t be easy.

For as long as can be remembered, South Korean-American relations have been filled with tension among ordinary South Koreans about the American role in South Korea and at the government level about the relationship itself. Relations often have involved hard bargaining as in the recent decision to move U.S. forces south of the Demilitarized Zone and out of Seoul.

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