Regarding Ralph Cossa’s Feb. 23 article, “Vision of ROK-U.S. alliance“: Apparently caught up in reverie over the victory of South Korean President-elect Lee Myung Bak, Cossa postulates a non sequitur. He questions (suggests) that if Lee has a vision, it should be that South Korea must “maintain good relations simultaneously with its four neighbors — China, Japan, Russia and the United States” and that the only way this can be accomplished is “through the continued viability of the ROK-U.S. alliance.”

Aside from appearing geographically challenged in classifying the U.S. as a “neighbor” of the Republic of Korea, Cossa needs to explain how the ROK can maintain good relations with China while being allied to China’s perceived enemy and harboring U.S. forces and assets that could and would be used against China in the event of a conflict. This is not a vision; this is nonsense. Contrary to Cossa’s preferences, the ROK leadership needs to realize that the ROK is a permanent part of Asia — not some kind of extension or island of the West therein — and to come to terms with that reality.

mark valencia