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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
  • Backgrounder posted December 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos Improving Information Access in North Korea

    Each year, thousands of refugees flee the oppressive North Korean regime. Today, nearly 30,000 such defectors live in South Korea.[1] Their stories attest to the important role that access to outside information plays in refugees’ decisions to seek freedom abroad. But getting information into North Korea is no easy feat. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s…

  • Issue Brief posted December 1, 2016 by Bruce Klingner South Korean Political Crisis Poses Challenge for Trump Administration

    South Korea is embroiled in a fast-moving political scandal that will lead to the removal of President Park Geun-hye and could well endanger critical national security policies and strain the alliance relationship with the United States. President Park’s political life hangs by a thread, and it is only a matter of time before she either resigns or is impeached. The…

  • Testimony posted September 19, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Creating a Comprehensive Policy Response to North Korean Threats and Provocations

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs U.S. House of Representatives September 14, 2016 My name is Bruce Klingner. I am the Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage…

  • Issue Brief posted August 22, 2016 by Anthony B. Kim, Ambassador Terry Miller Three Promising Areas for Greater U.S.–South Korean Economic Cooperation

    The United States and South Korea have put into place a framework for fruitful economic partnerships that are delivering measurable, concrete benefits for Americans and Koreans alike. Dynamic trade and investment activities have deepened and broadened the economic relationship, and the two longtime allies have much to gain if their governments work together to reinforce…

  • Backgrounder posted August 11, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Chinese Foot-dragging on North Korea Thwarts U.S. Security Interests

    North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, held in January 2016, paradoxically triggered a stronger international response than any of its first three. Although this latest test was not significantly larger than its previous ones, it did result in an international consensus that stronger, more comprehensive sanctions must be imposed on North Korea for its serial violations of its…

  • Commentary posted June 27, 2016 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Sanctions Won't Bring Kim to Heel

    How do you solve a problem like Kim Jong Un? The solutions proposed thus far on the campaign trail are less than promising. For example, both Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, and Republican hopeful Donald Trump have suggested outsourcing the challenge of dealing with North Korea to China. That’s magical thinking. The notion that Beijing…

  • Commentary posted May 11, 2016 by Bruce Klingner North Korea Party Congress: Much Ado About Nothing

    When Kim Jong-un convened a rare Korea Workers’ Party (KWP) Congress on May 6, – the first in 36 years and only the 7th in North Korean history – it generated speculation of sweeping policy changes. But the Congress produced no historic reform, only a disappointing, crickets-chirping ennui. The Party Congress emphasized pageantry over policy change, rubber stamp over…

  • Commentary posted May 4, 2016 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How to Encourage Peace in North Korea

    SEOUL – Every Korean I know remains saddened by the division of the Korean people into a North and a South at the 38th parallel. The Korean people still dream of reunification, even as they tell me about their appreciation for the sacrifices that their friends, the Americans, made for Korea’s freedom. When we talk about the situation north of the demilitarized zone, it’s…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Lame Duck President or Parliament?

    Prior to the National Assembly election, President Park Geun-hye complained of a “vegetative legislature” that was unable to pass bills. In Japan, they refer to a “twisted Diet” when two different parties control each of the two houses of parliament, creating gridlock. Yet, in South Korea, the same party had controlled both the unicameral legislature and the presidency…

  • Commentary posted March 31, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Allied Coordination Needed to Counter North Korea

    North Korea is easy to ridicule. Its portly, rhomboid-haired leader looks like an Austin Powers villain. His over-the-top, bombastic threats sound like Soviet propaganda on steroids. Nighttime satellite photography suggests it can't even power a light bulb. No wonder it's been routinely dismissed as not posing a threat for "at least several more years." Despite the…

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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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Commentary posted January 24, 2011 by Bruce Klingner Bravo Zulu to South Korean SEALS

    It’s not often that a nation does something as dramatic as rescuing 21 of its citizens from pirates on board a freighter, and also marks the occasion with the significant milestone of conducting its first-ever operation in international waters. South Korea did just that on Friday, sending a unit of its elite SEALs (who sometimes train with US Navy SEALs) to rescue sailors…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2011 by Bruce Klingner The Cheonan: a Retrospective Assessment

    When the South Korean corvette Cheonan sank a year ago, there was great uncertainty over its cause. Although North Korea was immediately suspected, Seoul initially downplayed that likelihood. Instead, a series of possible scenarios were suggested, including a North Korean mine inadvertently floating down from the north or even a Korean War-era U.S. mine.Eventually, a…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2012 by Rebeccah Heinrichs Reassurance Needed in US-South Korea Relations

    Two days after President Obama and Governor Romney debated foreign policy, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-jin, at the Pentagon. The purpose of the meeting was to reaffirm both nations’ commitment to deterring conflict—especially nuclear conflict—on the Korean Peninsula. That should go without saying. Yet this was no pro…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2013 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Conservative Tide in Asia

    There are no permanent victories in democratic politics and no permanent defeats. Thus, even as conservatives in the United States are working to find better ways to present our ideas in the 2014 and 2016 elections, we should pause a moment to celebrate some successes overseas. The results of last month’s elections in South Korea and Japan show the two nations recognize…

  • Commentary posted August 28, 2014 by Jim DeMint Tension between Korea-Japan is poison to Asia. U.S. Should Mediate.

    Editor’s Note: This news article was originally published in South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo Newspaper. The interview was conducted by JoongAng Ilbo Reporter, Jin Park. Boegum Choi, Asan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, provided the summarized translation. The original article can be accessed here.   "We hope for a positive China-Korea relationship as the result of Korean…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korea's Deceptive Charm Offensive

    North Korea surprised everyone last weekend with its decision to send a senior delegation to the closing ceremonies of the Asian Games in South Korea. As recently as April, after all, Pyongyang threatened to incinerate Seoul, Tokyo and Washington with nuclear weapons. In the months since, North Korea has been relatively quiescent, content to issue daily diatribes against…

  • 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,…

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  • Issue Brief posted December 1, 2016 by Bruce Klingner South Korean Political Crisis Poses Challenge for Trump Administration

    South Korea is embroiled in a fast-moving political scandal that will lead to the removal of President Park Geun-hye and could well endanger critical national security policies and strain the alliance relationship with the United States. President Park’s political life hangs by a thread, and it is only a matter of time before she either resigns or is impeached. The…

  • Issue Brief posted August 22, 2016 by Anthony B. Kim, Ambassador Terry Miller Three Promising Areas for Greater U.S.–South Korean Economic Cooperation

    The United States and South Korea have put into place a framework for fruitful economic partnerships that are delivering measurable, concrete benefits for Americans and Koreans alike. Dynamic trade and investment activities have deepened and broadened the economic relationship, and the two longtime allies have much to gain if their governments work together to reinforce…

  • Commentary posted May 4, 2016 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How to Encourage Peace in North Korea

    SEOUL – Every Korean I know remains saddened by the division of the Korean people into a North and a South at the 38th parallel. The Korean people still dream of reunification, even as they tell me about their appreciation for the sacrifices that their friends, the Americans, made for Korea’s freedom. When we talk about the situation north of the demilitarized zone, it’s…

  • Special Report posted December 31, 2015 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos 2015 Asia Update: The Trends and What They Mean for America

    The Asian Studies Center America's Commitment to the Pacific Previous editions of this product have illustrated America’s resident power status in Asia and the continuing, critical importance of its commitment to leadership there. They have sought to demonstrate in graphic fashion what is at stake for the U.S. from the economy to security to human liberty. This year’s…

  • 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 serve its…

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