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S. Korea's top office closely following U.S. presidential election; preparing for all possible scenarios Updated: 2020-11-04 17:04:51 KST

South Korea is also closely watching the U.S. presidential election as it will determine the direction of key issues on the Korean Peninsula and the Seoul-Washington alliance for the next four years.
Joining me live is Arirang's presidential office correspondent Kim Min-ji from the nation's top office.
Min-ji, the Blue House hasn't issued any sort of public statement regarding the U.S. presidential race yet.
How are things looking there right now?

South Korea's presidential office has been maintaining a cautious stance without making any official remarks regarding the U.S. election.
President Moon Jae-in has no public agendas scheduled for today or tomorrow likely to focus on the developments.
A senior official here says that the top office is closely following the vote count, and that the National Security Council is preparing for all possible scenarios.
He added that once the outcome becomes clear, President Moon will likely convene a meeting of related ministers to discuss response measures.
So we're not expecting anything official to come out of the Blue House tonight.
Once results are out, something else that'll be closely watched is when Moon will call the new president-elect to offer his congratulations.

The results of the U.S. election are expected to have an impact on several critical issues,.. including the stalled denuclearization talks with North Korea, defense cost-sharing negotiations as well as the U.S.-China trade rivalry?

Well, President Moon has just over a year left in office and for progress on his peace initiative with Pyeongyang Washington's North Korea policy will be a variable.
Should Donald Trump win it increases the likelihood of a resumption in denuclearization talks.
But, we can not rule out the possibility that Trump may push for change if re-elected.
In contrast, if Joe Biden were to claim victory chances of a summit could be slim as it is expected that he may opt for a more bottom-up approach.

The two allies also have to settle their defense cost-sharing deal.
If Trump were to stay in office, South Korea may face further pressure for a significant hike to cover its share of the burden.
Under a Biden presidency, it may give Seoul some leeway as he as stressed that he will repair ties with Washington's allies and not "extort" them.

Aside from that that, this high-stakes election takes place at a time when South Korea is stuck between the U.S. and China amid their ongoing conflict.
With both sides likely to maintain a hardline approach, there are concerns that Washington may push for a regional military alliance. putting Seoul in a sticky position.

Now, we'll have to see which candidate will win but regardless of administration, the South Korean government maintains its stance of advancing the strong Seoul-Washington allianceand working toward peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Back to you, Conn-young.
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