What Happens When South Korea’s Political Tourette’s Syndrome Meets the US’s Alzheimer’s?

The result is comedy gold with geopolitical consequences in a drive-by meet-and-diss.

Zola not Hemingway at the White House
According to the US State Department, President Joe Biden met with South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on
Sept 21st. The entire White House readout is worth quoting:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance and ensure close cooperation to address the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Presidents also discussed our ongoing cooperation on a broad range of priority issues including supply chain resilience, critical technologies, economic and energy security, global health, and climate change.

This terse three sentence statement comes across as the typical say-nothing-boilerplate of US meetings with foreign dignitaries.  That is, until you realize the meeting lasted all of 48 seconds: the description of the meeting takes longer to read out loud than the actual meeting.

The flack who wrote this had to expand every last word in the meeting to make it seem like something substantive was actually discussed during this drive-by.

This is paid-by-the-word Emile Zola-esque padding, not the Hemingway-telegram prose that often characterizes the US government’s laconic, mirandized, Kremlin-bunker statements on complex issues.

Electrified Tourette’s.

How did Pres. Yoon take this?  Well, South Korean President’s political Tourette’s syndrome is a match made in (comedy) heaven for the US President’s Alzheimer’s.
The foul-mouthed South Korean President was recorded cursing out the US political class as he was walking away from this “drive-by summit” with Biden.

The Yoon administration had expected a substantial summit with Biden to discuss core issues affecting South Korea, among them, the  IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) legislation.  Among other things, this US law eliminates the $7500 tax credit for electric vehicles (EVs) made outside North America.  This disadvantages the market for South Korean automakers such as Kia and Hyundai, who will not build cars in the US until 2025.  South Korea sees this as a betrayal by the US, after South Korea’s Yoon administration’s multiple pledges to follow US policy and dictates–such as the Chip 4 act–in the growing economic blockade and war that the US is waging against China.  This economic war, pre-textually labeled as “supply chain resilience”, comes at great costs to the South Korean economy, which is struggling to get back on its feet after Covid.  The costs of following this belligerent US policy–China is South Korea’s largest trading partner–are so damaging that South Korea was reasonably expecting at least a few bones thrown its way in other areas.  Instead, the US has set up the South Korean EV industry for massive failure.

Instead of a full summit meeting to substantially discuss South Korea’s concerns, President Yoon was given a glad-handing drive-by after the UN Global Fund meeting–to which he had been invited only as an afterthought. Yoon’s political fortunes are cratering in South Korea, where polls show him as one of the most unpopular presidents in South Korea’s modern history.  Hopes had been placed in getting some trickle-down benefits through a meeting with Biden at the UN General Assembly, possibly even some indulgences regarding EV credits for South Korea.  Instead, Yoon had to settle for a quick drive up to the favor window of the White House–where Yoon had placed his order ahead of time–and then was handed a big, fat, juicy nothingburger.

Pres. Yoon was certainly pissed off that Biden could only spare 48 seconds of his time in a “sidelines meeting”,  but even more importantly, the fact that he came up grabbing air could not have pleased the Korean president.  He spoke his mind to a thicket of cameras and microphones as he was walking away:

“If those f***ers in the US Congress don’t pass the [the Global Fund] bill, how will Biden live down the sh*t-faced embarrassment?”

Yoon’s humiliation here compounded Biden’s “you don’t even exist” handshake earlier with Yoon at the NATO summit in Madrid earlier this year.

Trash-talking Teenage Tit-for-Tat 

Let it be noticed that  President Yoon, hardly a person to let bygones be bygones, has given as good as he has gotten in the past. For example, he treated Nancy Pelosi to a full-on diplomatic ice-out when she travelled to Seoul to cool down after her overheated attempt to trigger a war over Taiwan.   Expecting a rousing Shero’s welcome from sycophants in the subjugated US neo-colony of South Korea, Pelosi was greeted with nothing, not even a meeting with top staff.

Pres. Yoon Suk Yeol refused to meet her in person–despite being only 15 minutes away by a slow cab in bad traffic–claiming he was “on vacation”–a political absurdity: affairs of state in South Korea have no holidays.  To rub in the insult, Pres. Yoon attended a theater performance that day and then treated the performers to a lavish banquet that lasted late into the night.  Nancy Pelosi was not invited to the dinner nor even for dessert, where it is rumored that her favorite gourmet chocolate ice cream was served. Yoon also refused to send any ministerial staff to greet her, a first in South Korean diplomatic history.

Yoon’s teenage trash-talking of the US political class astounds only those who don’t know Yoon and those who assume US vassals love their masters rather than despising them with every bone in their sycophantic bodies.

Characterized as an unfortunate indiscretion in the MSM–with expert and amateur lexicologists trying to decipher whether Yoon had referred to the US Congress as “b*tches”, “b*astards”, “c*nts”, or “f*ckers”, this behavior is actually par for the course for President Yoon, who is known for making colorful spontaneous statements to the press.

A case study of Political Tourette’s syndrome, a characteristic of the incestuous silver-spooned privileged class that Yoon belongs to, the South Korean president has a history of making inappropriate statements when he is not handled and tightly scripted, and is widely considered a walking hot mike.

The US political class hailed President Yoon’s election, after years of the Moon Jae-In administration’s passive-aggressive cock-blocking of their Pivot to Asia.  A dunce’s dunce with no political experience–sometimes compared to Donald Trump–President Yoon ran on a rightwing platform of misogyny, stupidity, and sycophancy to the US.  This was highlighted when he (his staffers) wrote a slavishly sycophantic essay in Foreign Affairs–a confession of the doctrine of the faith–by offering the US Indo-Pacific Strategy back to it on a silver platter days before the South Korean election.  The latter won favor with the US, and Yoon squeaked by against his progressive opponent in the closest election in the history of South Korea.

Little does the US understand that President Yoon–a political loose cannon–has the potential to inadvertently blow up US-South Korea relations in ways that they have not even begun to imagine.  The colorful language should be the least of their concerns.