When the 5th Republic in South Korea was inaugurated in 1981, the Reagan Administration was about to start in the U.S. The two governments shared similar values on the international politics of Pacific Area: military allies come first. President Chun Doowhan of South Korea pretty much understood what the U.S. wanted from his government: strong anticommunism and pro-American policies.
Kim Daejung, one of important democratic leader of South Korea, might be a valuable card to make the U.S. government support his tyrannical government. Kim also was a valuable figure on the part of American side because the United States decided to make use of Kim as a international issue. If the United States could persuade President Chun to grant amnesty for death penalty of Kim, the international public opinions and the feeling of South Koreans toward the United States would favorably be changed, and the Reagan Administration would have a good chance to solid military alliance with tyrannical South Korean government.
Again in the early 1980s two nations lost chances to build more durable relations by enhancing high values such as human rights, democracy, and freedom. Instead they held tight their hands by strengthening military alliance and anti-communist policies, betraying wishes of most Koreans who wanted the United States to stop killing people and violations of human rights by Chun s military groups.