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South Korea

South Korea is a treaty ally with the United States that has to deal daily with the threat from North Korea. The United States has a mutually beneficial pending FTA agreement with South Korea.

HIGHLIGHTS

Our Research & Offerings on South Korea
  • Commentary posted August 19, 2015 by Jim DeMint, Bruce Klingner Easing the Strains Between Japan and South Korea

    As world attention has recently been focused elsewhere, longstanding tensions between two critical U.S. allies, Japan and South Korea, have quietly been easing. This is the result of initiatives by the leaders of both countries, as well as the concerted efforts of diplomats. That’s good news for Washington, since together the three nations can better address common…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Encourage Reconciliation Between Japan and South Korea

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s forthcoming statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has the potential to either repair or further impair Tokyo’s current stilted bilateral relations with Seoul. Indeed, a cottage industry has sprouted up predicting what he will say or will not say and the effect his words might have on recent…

  • Posted on July 9, 2015 by Diana Stancy Japanese and South Korean Ambassadors Identify Strategies to Combat North Korea’s Growing Power

    Through its continuous work to build, deploy and sell nuclear weapons and its general belligerence toward the rest of...…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. MERS in South Korea: Applying the Lessons of Ebola

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is the latest in what might appear to some as a constant barrage of horrible diseases. Presently, it has infected about 120 people in South Korea, the schools are in lockdown, and nearly 4,000 people are being monitored in isolation after possible contact with infected people. Will this be the next “Ebola” outbreak? This is a…

  • Backgrounder posted June 12, 2015 by Bruce Klingner South Korea Needs THAAD Missile Defense

    The April 2015 interim nuclear agreement with Iran has generated speculation that a similar denuclearization agreement might be possible with North Korea. However, Pyongyang has made emphatically clear that it will never abandon its nuclear arsenal and has declared the Six-Party Talks “null and void.”[1] The U.S. and its allies therefore need to deploy sufficient defenses…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by Walter Lohman Washington, Seoul must prepare for a unified Korea

    Seoul seems to be in an upcycle of expectations over unification with North Korea -- perhaps because of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's focus on the issue, or perhaps due to speculation over the stability of the Pyongyang regime. It clearly cannot be due to any encouragement from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has responded only with ridicule, invective and…

  • Commentary posted May 14, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Gamechanger: North Korea's Submarine Launched Missile Test

    On May 8, North Korea successfully conducted its first underwater ejection test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Analysts had predicted it would be several years before that would happen. Small wonder North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was jubilant.  He declared the development a “time bomb attached to the backs of our enemies when the SLBMs enter a…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by Dean Cheng America Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering China’s Expanding Perimeter of National Interests

    What do Central Asia, the South China Sea, the Internet, and outer space have in common? All of these are parts of China’s expanding perimeter of national interest. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated a willingness to use its increasing economic influence to pressure neighboring countries in physical geographic disputes and to…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Commentary posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The World's Greatest Nuclear Fear: Will Iran Pull a North Korea?

    The interim Iranian nuclear framework is a vague accord with significant shortcomings. Moreover, the ink had barely dried before Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disputed the Obama administration’s depiction of what had been agreed to. Khamenei declared that all sanctions against Iran must be removed immediately upon signature of a final accord in three…

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  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. MERS in South Korea: Applying the Lessons of Ebola

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is the latest in what might appear to some as a constant barrage of horrible diseases. Presently, it has infected about 120 people in South Korea, the schools are in lockdown, and nearly 4,000 people are being monitored in isolation after possible contact with infected people. Will this be the next “Ebola” outbreak? This is a…

  • Backgrounder posted June 14, 2011 by Bruce Klingner Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Marines on Okinawa Are Essential to Peace and Security in the Pacific

    Abstract: Two factors have driven the debate over the planned U.S. military realignment in Japan: campaign pledges made by the Democratic Party of Japan and complaints from Okinawans about the presence of the U.S. military. These factors have had a particularly strong impact on efforts to preserve the Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa. However, other critical…

  • Backgrounder posted April 11, 2013 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Should Support New South Korean President’s Approach to North Korea

    In late February 2013, Park Geun-hye was inaugurated as the 11th President of South Korea. Park’s ascent comes at a critical juncture in the Republic’s history: Facing several formidable challenges—rising regional security threats, economic uncertainty, and growing pressure to address domestic income disparities—South Korea needs strong and decisive political leadership.…

  • WebMemo posted January 6, 2012 by Bruce Klingner The Missing Asia Pivot in Obama's Defense Strategy

    President Obama’s new defense strategy is long on rhetoric but bereft of details on how it will actually be implemented. The President boldly promised to maintain or augment U.S. military capabilities against a spectrum of global threats, but planned draconian defense cuts of $1 trillion would undermine the U.S.’s ability to achieve its national interests and defend…

  • WebMemo posted February 17, 2009 by Bruce Klingner North Korea's Missile Gambit

    North Korea may be preparing to test-launch a long-range Taepo Dong-2 missile from its eastern coast. A missile launch, or even observable preparations for such a launch, would be the next step in Pyongyang's escalating efforts to pressure the U.S. and South Korea to soften their policies toward the North Korean dictatorship. Needless to say, it would be deeply…

  • Backgrounder posted August 7, 2014 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. and South Korea Should Focus on Improving Alliance Capabilities Rather Than the OPCON Transition

    If hostilities break out between North Korea and South Korea (ROK), the current agreement between Washington and Seoul would put all ROK forces under control of the bilateral Combined Forces Command (CFC), which is led by a U.S. general. During armistice,[1] the government of South Korea controls its military forces, while the U.S. controls all U.S. and international…

  • Backgrounder posted March 21, 2013 by Jack Spencer U.S.–South Korea Nuclear Cooperation: Agreeing on Commercial and Nonproliferation Goals

    The agreement between the United States government and the Republic of Korea (ROK) that allows commercial nuclear trade between the countries, referred to as a “123 agreement” since it is required by Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act[1] expires in March 2014.[2] To avoid any lapses, the Obama Administration must conclude negotiations by spring 2013. This will allow the…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos A New View of Asia: 24 Charts that Show What's at Stake for America

    The Asian Studies Center Introduction Geography Economic Stakes Political Stakes Security Challenges Introduction: A New View of America's "Near West" At The Heritage Foundation’s annual B. C. Lee Lecture this year, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs summed up perfectly America’s destiny as regards Asia: It is America’s “Near…

  • WebMemo posted November 8, 2010 by Bruce Klingner Obama Should Approve Korea Trade Agreement

    President Barack Obama’s trip to South Korea will be driven by several overlapping agendas. President Lee Myung-bak has laid the groundwork for progress on several economic issues at the G-20 summit, but breakthroughs may prove elusive given the disparity of participants’ national interests. A greater potential success during the Seoul gathering would be the Obama…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2013 by Bruce Klingner For South Korea, No Respect, No Kaesong

    It's time for South Korea to face facts: The Kaesong experiment has failed. The ideologically motivated joint business venture with North Korea known as the Kaesong industrial complex is not economically viable, nor has it achieved any of its political objectives. To protest recent sanctions against it, the North pulled its workers out this month and locked out workers…

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  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Encourage Reconciliation Between Japan and South Korea

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s forthcoming statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has the potential to either repair or further impair Tokyo’s current stilted bilateral relations with Seoul. Indeed, a cottage industry has sprouted up predicting what he will say or will not say and the effect his words might have on recent…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. MERS in South Korea: Applying the Lessons of Ebola

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is the latest in what might appear to some as a constant barrage of horrible diseases. Presently, it has infected about 120 people in South Korea, the schools are in lockdown, and nearly 4,000 people are being monitored in isolation after possible contact with infected people. Will this be the next “Ebola” outbreak? This is a…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • Issue Brief posted November 24, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Election Should Energize Asia Policies

    The results of the midterm elections could reinvigorate U.S. policies toward Asia, which have suffered from a lack of resources and resolve. The new Congress will likely be more supportive of concluding free trade agreements, funding U.S. defense requirements, and imposing additional sanctions to leverage North Korean compliance with international agreements. That said,…

  • Special Report posted October 8, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos, John Fleming 2014 Asia Update: What’s at Stake for America

    Introduction Economy Political Security Introduction Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…

  • Backgrounder posted August 7, 2014 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. and South Korea Should Focus on Improving Alliance Capabilities Rather Than the OPCON Transition

    If hostilities break out between North Korea and South Korea (ROK), the current agreement between Washington and Seoul would put all ROK forces under control of the bilateral Combined Forces Command (CFC), which is led by a U.S. general. During armistice,[1] the government of South Korea controls its military forces, while the U.S. controls all U.S. and international…

  • Issue Brief posted February 19, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Obama Needs to Send Strong Message to Allies During Asia Trip

    President Obama correctly decided—apparently after some deliberation—to include South Korea on the itinerary for his trip to Asia in April, thus avoiding straining relations with a key ally. Seoul and Tokyo are again embroiled in a flare-up of tensions over sensitive historical issues that risk undermining U.S. security interests in Asia. Had Obama traveled only to Japan,…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos A New View of Asia: 24 Charts that Show What's at Stake for America

    The Asian Studies Center Introduction Geography Economic Stakes Political Stakes Security Challenges Introduction: A New View of America's "Near West" At The Heritage Foundation’s annual B. C. Lee Lecture this year, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs summed up perfectly America’s destiny as regards Asia: It is America’s “Near…

  • Backgrounder posted July 24, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Enhancing South Korean–U.S. Naval Capabilities Is Critical to American Interests

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye has pledged to reach out diplomatically to North Korea to establish a reciprocal trust-building process. She is willing to provide economic benefits to facilitate North Korean denuclearization and progress toward Korean unification. But Park always emphasizes that the most important pillar of her “trustpolitik” strategy is first to…

Find more work on South Korea
Find more work on South Korea