The Republic of Korea: Facing the Future A Discussion with Key Korean Policy Makers

Report Asia

The Republic of Korea: Facing the Future A Discussion with Key Korean Policy Makers

September 1, 1986 27 min read Download Report
Tae-Woo Roh
Visiting Fellow
(Archived document, may contain errors)


A Discussion with Key Korean Policymakers

DR. FEULNER: Hello, my name is Ed Feulner. 1--am-President of The Heritage Foundation, 'a Washington-based public policy research organization. Together with my colleague, Ri chard V. Allen, the Chairman of the Asian Studies Center of The Heritage Foundation, it is my very great pleasure to open this roundtable discussion today here in Seoul, Korea, with Chairman Roh Tae Woo of the ruling Democratic Justice Party and several o f his colleagues. Mr. Chairman, welcome.

CHAIRMAN ROH: First of all,, I would like-to thank Dr.-Feulner and Mr. Allen for coming to Seoul to conduct this Heritage Roundtable Discussion. if my information is correct, this is the first time such a forum has been held in Korea. Therefore, I am deeply honored to have been asked to participate. I also would like to express my gratitude to The Heritage Foundation as a whole for its efforts on behalf of world peace--the ability to bring together the best and the brightest of America's thinkers and a continuing commitment to provide such forums for discussion of complex world issues have made a great contribution.

As you know, Korea is now at an historical crossroads. We have the opportunity before us to make a gre at leap forward toward development of a democratic Korea. We are firmly committed to this vital task. This commitment is significant because it has been made by the people of a country that is suffering from the pain of more. than forty years of division, three years of bloody Korean war, and a constant threat to its security and its survival. I find myself heartened by America's renewed commitment to the support of democratic forces throughout the world. Nowadays the United States of America conducts its p olicy in such a manner that we are confident of its success and sincerity. We in Korea are certainly proud to be an ally of the U.S., and we look forward to strengthening and deepening our friendship in the future. I hope that today's discussion will cont ribute to that goal. Thank you again.

DR. FEULNER: Kamsa Hamnida ("Thank you"),, Mr. Chairman.

MR. ALLEN: Chairman Roh,, it is of course a pleasure and a privilege for us to have your participation and that of your distinguished

T his roundtable discussion took place on July 10, 1986, in Seoul, Korea.

ISSN 0272-1155. Copyright 1986 by The Heritage Foundation.

colleagues in a Heritage Foundation Roundtable Discussion. In Washington it is well known that -The Heritage Foundation asks very tough questions and also takes a very direct stand on major public policy issues. Since the creation of its Asian Studies Center more than three years ago, The Heritage Foundation has done a great deal of work on U.S. policy in Asia generally, and especially on the Korea n-American relationship, which we consider crucial for peace and dtability in this tregion.--But -we %'also consider it a -special relationship as you have stated in your interesting, and very sincere and direct, opening remarks.

in such a roundtable we- w elcome an informal free-flowing discussion with an exchange of ideas, exchange of opinions, and sometimes a clash of opinions. One of our most important tasks is to try to familiarize Americans with Asia. Although we have spent years and years in Asia, th e re are many things that,, as a nation, we do not understand. One of the tasks of The Heritage Foundation is to bring home to public policy makers a better understanding of the way our Asian friends think. Each nation in Asia is different. It is a complex r egion, and Korea, as you pointed out, has suffered a great deal during the first half of this century under a very severe and cruel occupation,, during World War 11, and in the aftermath of World War II, with the pain of division for more than four decade s. This gives a special quality to the Korean-American relationship, and it makes it even more important for us as Americans to understand your country.

Today we would like to discuss some of the main topics in Korean-American relations including: economic growth; trade problems; the 1988 Olympics, their significance for the Republic of Korea, and of course the Asian Games that are coming this year; the question of the military alliance between our countries; the North-South relationship because peace on t h e Korean peninsula is a key crucial determihant of peace in all of Asia; the role of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China in this vast arena of Asia; Korea's role in the world; and, of course, the process of democratization that is taking p l ace in this country along with its rapid economic progress. With that overview in mind, I would like to ask you a provocative opening question if I might. What is your vision of Korea five or ten years years from now? What will be the dhape of Korea polit ically, internally? What will be Korea's mission as you see it over this period of time?

CHAIRMAN ROH: First of all, Mr. Allen and Dr. Feulner, I consider you my longtime friends. Although I became a bit tense at the word "provocative," knowing that you are two of my best friends, I can answer with peace of mind.

I understand and completely share your views that Americans do not fully understand Korea and Korean relations, and this is one of my serious concerns-. But you also must keep in mind that there has been


a change from one generation to the next. The generation that experienced the Korean War is fading away, and it is important for us to make the postwar generation understand where our two nations stand. Therefore, I see it as our obligation, and not just f or us, but also for Americans, to explain the essence of the relationship between Korea and the United States. As I mentioned, out of gratitude, we tried to repay you for,what you did for us in the Korean War. In this connection, I would like.-to. mention , one other thing.. which is perhaps our philosophical way of thinking and living. Whoever we are indebted to we try to repay in any way we can, so that the friendship can continue. Therefore, we went to Vietnam and fought side by side with your boys, and a blood-pledged relationship resulted. We did that because we felt that, by doing so, we could bring our two countries closer and better our relationship. Today our country is in the middle of a transition. We are becoming one of the newly industrialized n ations of the world.

In an economic sense, we are not an advanced country, but we are headed in that direction and we have been cited as an exemplary model for developing countries. We are doing our best and in 1988, just two years from now, the Olympics w ill provide an added impetus in our drive to become an advanced nation. Therefore, going back to the previous statement, we feel the U.S.-Korea rela 'tionship is precious because it is blood-pledged. With pride and confidence we are doing our best to real ize all these goals in the next five to ten years.

DR. FEULNER: Thank you Chairman Roh. Your colleague in the National Assembly, Pang Du Wan--David Pang--has been a frequent visitor to the U.S., and as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I know he has very strong views on the U.S.-Korean relationship. David, what the Chairman says is certainly true in terms of building on and developing that relationship. Yet many of my countrymen are shocked when they see Koreans, our friends, occupying American buildings or trying to invade the American Embassy or protesting on college campuses about the American presence, about the American military presence. What is the reason for this?

CHAIP14AN PONG: I must say that my country has been built up largely becaus e of the great help from U.S. taxpayers, and this country of mine is certainly one country on the globe that really deeply appreciates what the Americans have done in time of peace and in time of war. There is no doubt about that as Chairman Rah Tae Woo s o rightly put it. But now it is time to enhance the understanding and cooperation between our two peoples as well as the two governments and two nations. Now there may be some in the ranks and circles of radicalism of a sentiment that says that the America n physical presence in South Korea might hinder the betterment of the two- nations' relations. But this is strongly by the majority of people residing in South Korea.- This is a country in which 99 percent lof the whole populace is sort of in l ove with Americans because V@at they have done in time of peace and in time of war is


deeply appreciated. So this phenomenon that you have just mentioned, that some of the radical students might have intruded into American installations like the USIS building is the kind of thing that any- developing nation might have to face in that process.

MR. ALLEN: Let me point out that during the 1960s when we were in the academic world we had the campuses at Berkeley and Harvard and the University of -Pennsylv ania... in.;turmoil.. -In fact, one of the great American folk heroes who later became a U.S. Senator, Sam Hayakawa of California, catapulted himself to fame by refusing to allow the student radicals of San Francisco State College to take.over and to proh ibit him from speaking, so we can understand that.

Dr. Lee, you studied in the U.S. at about the same time, and taught there as well, as I recall. How do you evaluate this question of dissidents that keeps jumping to our attention in the newspapers?

DR. L EE JONG RYOOLO, ROK National Assembly: I think some of the radical actions are a little bit exaggerated by the media, particularly the foreign press. We certainly have some groups of radicalized students who chant anti-American slogans, but they belong to a small minority among the students. As you know, Korea is now in transition from a very agrarian society to a very industrialized society so there is a natural conflict among such diversified and pluralized groups. Some conflicts tend to produce a batch o f people who have radical ideas about how to change the society. And these events are often exaggerated in news coverage, their voices reaching into many parts of society. So there are some students who occupy American buildings and go into USIS buildings . But these are actually isolated instances. They do not represent the views of most students. I believe the majority of Koreans like the U.S. and regard the U.S. presence as essential for Korean security. So we should take care of all the important proble ms emerging in this diversified society, as most of them are transitional. We will have to collect our wisdom to resolve these questions, but we should not overreact to them.

MR. ALLEN: That is an interesting point. You used the word transition--Chairman R oh used it, Chairman Pong used it--we know what that means, we who study Korea and understand Xorean-American relations. Others are not sure. So Chairman Roh, can you tell us what is the relationship of this word "transition" to the process of democratiza tion that is taking place in your country today?

CHAIRMAN ROH: Now,, I can say that you really ask some tough questions. Let me start by going back a little bit in our historical perspective. Because of our confrontation situation with the North and becaus e of our geopolitical situation, this country has had to put utmost effort into its security and its economic growth. We have emphasized these two areas, and because of that, the area of democratization might well have been neglected. Now that security is very well rooted in this country, and we have attained a significant


level of economic growth, the people's desire and their aspiration for democratization has been increased. This is why in my keynote speech during the last extraordinary session, the 130th special session, I presented a blueprint to our people that outlin e d what a genuine democracy would be for Korea. In the political arena, I would like to see broader participation of the people and reinforcement-of their basic rights. This country has been under a central presidential system, and perhaps a better distrib u tion of power on the regional level w 'ould be an areato explore. in the economic area, while we support a free market economy, we need to look more closely into how we can better distribute the accumulated wealth that has accompanied our economic growth. In the social sector, we would like to see more autonomy in education, culture, and religion. These are the blueprints that I have presented to our people for democratization, and not only for the 1988 Summer Olympics,, but by the time of the first peacef ul transfer of power of this nation in the early part of 1988. All of the fruits of these efforts should be shared by all of our people.

DR. FEULNER: Mr. Chairman,, my colleagues and I are well aware and have been most heartened by the fact that the Presid ent of the-Republic of Korea has said very specifically that, at the end of his term, he intends to step down--that there will be a peaceful election and a legitimate transfer of power as the Republic of Korea moves toward democratization. Now the process you have outlined,, of. course, has resulted in debates in the National Assembly calling for constitutional reform--for putting a new framework in place. Could you tell us how you see that developing? What kind of time frame will be involved? Perhaps more specifically when you think this distribution of power will come about? Is Korea going to move more in the direction of a parliamentary system as opposed to an American presidential version--but still a democratic system? Could you just expand on this per h aps? CHAIRMAN ROH: In domestic politics, I would say that Korea is in a whirlwind of constitutional revision. The opposition has called for direct presidential elections. But as we look at our constitutional history, we must recognize that we have changed the constitution many times, perhaps too many times in the past forty years. I am not extremely proud'of this record, but I feel it has a positive side. It indicates, I think, that Koreans are seeking change and that we need to accommodate these demands f o r the betterment of the country. with this understanding, we in the ruling party decided to accommodate these wishes by proposing constitutional revision. As you mentioned, there are two basic political systems currently being considered. Some claim that the direct presidential system is tho only shortcut to democracy. This claim is somewhat far-fetched, but for reasons of sentiment or what have you, some people are endorsing the d.irect presidential election system.


The constitution is important as th e basic framework for this country,, and I do not think that change should be carried out in a highly charged, emotional atmosphere. Constitutional revision is so important that it must be-done in a way that allows all Koreans to participate, so that the r evised constitution is something we do not need to change again,, which can lead this country until reunification. So if I can elaborate a little bit about what the Democratic iJustice Party (WP) thinks in terms of power distribution, as I said tearlier,. there is a need for more balance between regional and ,functional elements in this country. I would like to see,, perhaps ithrough a parliamentary system,, a fairer and more equitable idistribution among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. B ut having said this,, as much as I would like to give you a firm answer, I do not think it is the right time for me to make such a disclosure.' However, I can tell you what our political schedule is. The DJP is going to come up with its version of the-rev i sed constitution by mid-August, and with- this version, we are going to debate with'the opposition during the regular session in September. Through compromise between the opposition.and our party,, if we agree upon a certain form and reach agreement on a r evised constitution, then in the early part of nekt year it will be put to a national referendum. ilong with this schedule for a revised constitution, we have another big political agenda ahead of us. We have promised our people that we will implement loc a l autonomy by next year. So that is another matter that we have to deal with during this regular session. If all goes.well and runs according to the timetable,, I believe an election will be held between the end of next year and the early part of 1988. 1 a m sorry I cannot reveal what form the DJP will propose, but you merely have to be patient. But one thing I can assure you is that I am willing to discuss any form and to agree upon any form of government as long as it guarantees fair and free elections to this pation. J MR. ALLEN: A very direct and succinct statement,, which we appreciate hearing. I think it will be very helpful in fostering greater understanding about Korean thinking. We sometimes refer to our capital, Washington, D.C., as a jungle. It is a jungle of political opinion, sometimes political assassination, sometimes direct attack; a mixing pot for the different economic interests and political interests always in collision in our system, which is built upon the idea that these competing inter e sts can be adjusted and a solution reached that will be equitable and beneficial for the common good. We do not have too many complete losers or too many complete winners in our system. We give a little bit and compromise--conciliations are really the bas ic themes of our democracy. Sometimes some people in


the U.S. believe that our system should be copied identically, that it should be exported, and that local conditions everywhere should be the same as ours, But of course, the elements of our democr acy--the constituent ingredients of our'democracy--are quite different from the ingredients that might exist elsewhere, and so we are always debating among ourselves in Washington about how others should conduct their affairs.

we also know that our democr acy is tar from perfect, and some of the criticism that has been directed at Korea in the. process 'of democratization reflects this impatience we sometimes. have. We criticize other people who do not do things precisely as we do. one of the interesting a s pects of this has to do with the divided nature of I;orea, North and South. aust a few kilometers from here--about the same distance as between Washington and Baltimore, two major American cities, you have a demilitarized zone (DMZ), and on the other side of that zone is a very significant military threat.. I would like to know what role this North-South conflict, if you will, or the tension that pervades the North-South relationship will play in this transition to democracy hard in Korea. Mr. Hyun, would you care to comment on this thorny question?

MR. HYUN HONG CHOOl ROK National Assembly: I will try. Mr. Allen, you are quite correct in pointing to the. presence of the North Korean threat in relationship to our democratization process. It is, of course, a huge stumbling block toward our effort and toward democratization. We have been accused of trying to make every excuse not to make this country democratic and of having many excuses from the outward threat from North Korea, but as you know, the threat is quite real. But at this time we have to go to the path of democratization, because as Chairman Roh said a moment ago, our society has reached that degree of development where people want more participation in the political process.and for everyperson to h a ve a bigger share in our economic growth. That is the reality we have to cope with. But there are, of course, certain limits in what we can accomplish toward that purpose. For example, many people criticize our government for being too restrictive, for le g islation restricting demonstrations and freedom of speech, but actually this country is still under a wartime situation or at least not entirely a peacetime situation. And I think it had better be recognized by Americans that even in America, during warti m e, many restrictions on civil rights have been acknowledged and accepted by the people. We face a similar situation. Still even with that limitation, we have to follow the path of democratization. That makes our task quite difficult, but we have to do it.

DR. FEULNER: Chairman Roh,, as leader of your party,, you not only think about succession questions in your own country, you must also think about succession north of the border. What is going to happen in North Korea? Are we going to see a communist dyna sty established? And


what does it mean? Is there likely to be an opening to the world by Pyongyang,, and how would that relate to you here in Seoul?

CHAIRMAN ROM I think you have asked a very crucial question for our country,, and I think you are cor rect in calling the transfer of power from Kim Il Sung to Kim Zong 11 a communist dynasty. If such a transfer occurs, it may be the first case in a communist country of nepotism in transferring power from father.-to.son. So we really need to do a great de al of research and thinking about the system.

So far, un der the leadership of Kim 11 Sung, a clear strategy toward the South has emerged. This strategy does not recognize the rights of the South or its system and ideology, but rather it seeks to reunify the peninsula through communization. In other words,, reu nification on northern terms only.

So what might happen when power is transferred? Because the people surrounding Kim Jong 11 are younger and have been educated in foreign countries, they may adopt a more modern and open policy toward the world. In that se nse, perhaps the regime would adopt a more conciliatory posture in dealing with us.

But there is another concern that we cannot ignore, which involves the type of leadership Kim Il Sung has been exercising. He rules as if he were god-like, and he possesse s a great deal of personal charisma. Once this charismatic figure is gone, there could well be a power struggle. If you look at past examples, whenever there is domestic turmoil wh 'ere is the solution sought? Usually by directing attention and energy out ward. In short: military aggression directed toward the South. Therefore, we must remain vigilant and see how this delicate situation develops.

I would like to mention an importance aspect of the Olympics, which is that the Olympics provide us with a poten tial political advantage. We are broadening our relationship with Eastern bloc countries. We might become their friends on the sports level, and perhaps we can count on those countries to restrain the eagerness of North Korea for military aggression towar d the South. Therefore, when we successfully stage the 1988 Olympics, I would say that our prospects for unification also will improve.

MR. ALLEN: Very interesting. This is a topic, of course,, that is very difficult for Americans to understand. The North Korean regime and its repressive, brutal characteristics are quite distant from our way of thinking. When we in the U.S. think of Korea today, we increasingly consider the economic miracle that has occurred in this country through a combination of hard wo rk, a highly motivated workforce, and enlightened policies. They have given Korea a major jump forward, and by the 1990s Korea will seem a different country.


..I think we make a mistake in assuming that Korea is another Japan. This is a myth in the min ds of people who are not well informed. We have trade problems from time to time with Korea, as in any healthy relationship. in one that is so pervasive, so widely based as that between the U.S. and Korea, from time to time misunderstandings are inevitabl e . Our mood in the U.S. is a very ugly mood in some-respects, because -under.-the surface. there is some protectionist sentiment that seems to be more and more the expression of the day. We hope very much that this does not become a policy of the United St ates, and certainly.President Ronald Reagan has fought very hard to maintain free trade.

Dr. Rha, I would like to ask what you see as the best method for smoothing over trade frictions between the U.S.,and Korea. And do you foresee additional difficulties developing in the years ahead as-our relationship becomes even closer and deeper?

DR. RHA WOONG BAE,, ROK National Assembly: As you indicated, Mr. Allen,, this trade friction problem becomes a major concern in Korea too. There are two different feelings a bout this problem. One is that many Korean people think that the Americans are pushing too hard to open the Korean market, because the Korean government and the people-feel that Korea has already adopted an open market policy. And there are journalists an d other people here who think that the Korean market is opening too fast to accommodate the Korean economy and political situation at this time. So I think this friction will continue as trade barriers between the U.S. and Korea increase, and as far as the r e is trade between the U.S. and Korea, I can expect that there will always be some'kind of trade friction between our two countries. But Korea and the U.S. both believe in the free enterprise system and free trade system. Although some Americans are now g o ing back to protectionism, this trade friction can be solved by negotiation and understanding between the U.S. and Korean governments. In fact, there have been negotiations regarding the Article 301 cases, and I have learned that these negotiations are qu ite successful so actually we have no particular way to minimize trade friction but I think of several ways to ease this trade frictions that we are having now.

one difficulty that we have had in opening the Korean market to the U.S. and the rest of the wo rld has been the chronic balance-of-payment deficit owed-by South Korea. But fortunately we are now able to overcome thi.s economic constraint because we are going to have a trade surplus this year for the first time in our economic history. And since we a re in transition now, it becomes a matter of political constraint rather than economic constraint. Because we live under this balance-of-payment deficit and import restrictiont people are strongly resistant to changing from protectionism to liberalism, an d the Korean market has become an emotional and political matter. I think it takes time to make people understand that we now have a trade surplus with the U.S. and a trade surplus as a whole, so that it is


time to open our market to U.S. imports. And when we show the evidence of real import liberalization, investment liberalization, and opening the imarket for service industries such as insurance, securities, and advertising, it will be helpful for the U.S. to understand the Korean government policy. I also think that we will have a huge balance-of-p&yments deficit with Japan this year. It.-is going-to be bigger than we had last year, and it is why we have a balance-of-payments surplus with the U.S. And it is.why the Korean government and business comm u nity is trying hard to reallocate considerable amounts of the imports from qapan to the U.S., so it will be based on the good relationship between our two countries. Also I would like to ask American businessmen to try harder to sell American products to t he Korean markets. For instance, we opened the electronic industry to investment in Korea. Now it seems that the first one to build a factory in Korea is going to be Mitsubishi Electronic Company of Japan. So when the Korean market is open to the world, t h e Japanese again appear to take the lead, and this will not contribute to lessening the trade gap between the U.S. and Korea. MR. ALLEN: It is a common complaint that when any country opens its markets, Japan seems to seize the advantage. And also we agre e that American businesses should be urged and persuaded to work harder on such developments on a long-term basis. That is the Japanese strategy--to work on a long-term basis and not to expect immediate rebults. We will Very gladly, therefore, carry your m e ssage to the American business community, because The Heritage Foundation has excellent channels of communication to American business and industry. There are other areas that ought to be considered as well. For example, Korea is a natural consumer of Ame r ican energy products, and we would very much like to see Alaskan oil be made available for sale to Korea. Korea is also a natural customer for Alaskan coal to be used in the electricity generation plants here in Korea. So we, too, believe that these probl e ms can be solved. Actually, Japan is a very big element in the current U.S. trade situation because Japan's surplus is more than $50 billion of the total U.S. trade deficit of $150 billion. Taiwan,, the Republic of China with only half your population had a 1985 $12 to $13billion trade surplus. So, in realistic terms, the 1985 Korean trade surplus with the U.S. of $4.2 billion is small and not very significant, but it comes at a time when a great deal of American attention is focused on the Japanese surplu s . Our concern is that some of the U.S. legislators who seek retaliation against Japan, may also unfortunately foster retaliation against Korea or the Republic of China on Taiwan. I am reminded of last year when a very unfortunate decision on photo albums was delivered in the U.S. It was a fairly insignificant sector of trade, but one that was vital for small cottage industries here in Korea. And I am personally very sorry because I take many photos at home. With


seven children, my wife and I need many photo albums, and suddenly the price of a photo album has tripled because of this unwise decision by the U.S.-government. And it happened just before Christmas--a nice "Christmas present" in Korean-American trade re l ations,, which caused a great deal of emotional upset here. It was almost unnoticed in the U.S. Sometimes we do not take full account of our actions, so we also have to become more understanding of the fragile-nature of the Korean economy, even though it is dynamically expanding.,-

DR. RHA: Mr. Allen, I am really glad to realize that you have so much understanding of the Korean situation. In Korea we have a.saying that when two big fish fight each other, the one that is always hurt is the little shrimp. So while the two big fish--aapan and the U.S.--fight each other Korea, the little shrimp, might get hurt.

MR. HYUN: There is another aspect of the photo album issue. Many Korean youngsters took up that issue because they thought that through such a sma.'11 industry the U.S. was trying to kick Korea out of the U.S. It actually gave some kind of flame to the anti-American slogans. It was an emotional reaction that has not been beneficial for strengthening the friendship between our two countries.

MR. ALLEN: T he question of emotion,, Chairman Roh,, reminds me that you mentioned that constitutional revision should not beconsidered under conditions of emotion. Certainly in the U.S. we consider our constitution sacred, and we are careful not to tamper with or adj u st that constitution except for the most important issues--and never in conditions of emotion. While, for example, Dr..Feulner And I might like to see a constitutional revision regarding abortion, we also know that, if we suddenly opened up our constituti o n for such a revision as the question of abortion, we might also receive some revisions that we did not like as well. So we too recognize that even in the most stable democracies, the question of emotionalism is very important--as in protectionism, as in anti-Americanism, as in other political phenomena.

DR. FEULNER: Chairman Roh,, you have held senior positions in the government and in the private sector as Minister of Sports and as Chairman of the Olympic Organizing Committee. Tell us a little about the plans and progress as Korea moves toward hosting the 1988 worldwide Olympics. What is the status? Will the Soviets and Eastern Europeans participate? Have there been any indications'that they will not be here? What is generally the significance of the Oly mpics in terms of Korea moving ahead?

CHAIRMAN ROH: Since the Koreans were granted the 1988 Olympics, about six years have passed, and our friends have watched the difficulties we have had to go through. We have put a lot of effort into what we call "Olymp ic Diplomacy." And North Korea has done whatever they could--they mobilized whatever diplomatic influence they have--in order to obstruct us so that the Olympics could not be held in Korea.

They are using 'Eastern bloc countries to put pressure on the i nternational community so that the venue of the Olympics will be moved from Korea to some other part of the world. And during that time the U.S' understood our position and supported us, and so far we have overcom; successfully all these difficulties. Thi s was shown during' the meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Seoul last April, which we called the "United Nations of Sports." There were.. 132 countried participatingi-including Eastern bloc countries. Perhaps this is the la r gest meeting of that kind ever held, and during that meeting, we received assurances that the 19'88 Olympics will be held successfully. Of course, when the.time comes, whether one country participates or not. is absolutely up to them because participation is not a requirement or responsibility. But because of the result of our efforts, the opinions aired during the ANOC meeting, and the fact that a complete Olympics has not been held for some time, having failed in both Moscow and Los Angeles, I have all t he confidence in the world that the 1988 Olympics will be a most successful and grand festival.

MR. ALLEN: 1988 will be an exciting year for Korea. And it certainly will be an exciting year for the United States, as we are going to be electing a new presid ent and we hope that in our political parties there also will be a peaceful transition in 1988. Today we have had the chance to discuss a number of very important issues between our two countries: political development, democratization, the U.S.-Korean re l ationship in economic, military, and political dimensions, Korea's role in the world, the vision that you Korean public policy makers have of your country in the future, thir trade problem between our two countries, the importance of 1988 and beyond, and we believe this was a very rich and a very full agenda for us to discuss. We appreciate your taking time to be here with us and to give us the benefit of your insights, which we will certainly see are transmitted back to the U.S.

DR. FEULNER: I would echo what my colleague, Mr. Allen, has said about the deep appreciation which we feel toward each of you for participating in this very lively and thoughtful discussion.

To you Mrs. Dho Young Shim, Chief of Staff of the Foreign Affairs Committee, we are very grateful not only for translating but also for helping to arrange this get-together.'

Mr. Hyun Hong Choo, Assemblyman Hyun, member of the Office of Policy Coordination, thank you for being with us.

Chairman Pong Du Wan of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly, it is a pleasure to see you, sir.

Dr. Lee Jong Ryool, Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Justice Party's Policy Coordination Committee, Member of the National Assembly, again thank you very much for being with us.

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Dr. Rha Woong Bae, a member of the National Assembly, member of the Policy Coordination Committee of the Democratic Justice Party, thank you for being with us. And finally, Chairman Roh Tae Woo, Chairman of the Democratic Justice Party in Seoul, former Mi n ister of Home Affairs, former Mirlister of Sports, Head of the Seoul Olympic organizing Committee, and "Minister of Everything,,V thank.-you.-very much. for joining us today. I would like to invite all of you, perhaps sometime in the not too distant futur e , to repeat this roundtable discussion back at The Heritage Foundation in Washington where we might see how the themes that have been developed today are actually playing out. And I would like to thank you all again for helping us to -help our countrymen u nderstand the very close relationship between the people of the Republic of Korea and the people of the United. States. That close relationship is exemplified not only among us around this table but between our two Presidents. As you well know, President R onald Reagan was very pleased to host your President Chun Doo Hwan as the first state visitor after his inauguration in 1981. 1 think that showed that we in the U.S. view Korea not only as an equal partner in matters of defense, which have concerned both o f us for decades now, not only in economics and trade policy, but also as our good friends in Korea who are building toward a genuine-democracy. Thank you all very much for being with us today. Kamsa Hamnida. CHAIRMAN ROE: Thank you for your kind words, D r . Feulner and Mr. Allen. Mr. Allen, at first you scared me by saying that you would ask very provocative questions, but I think this discussion was based on our friendship and our confidence in each other. And I would like to thank both of you for bringin g this program to Seoul, Korea. As I said earlier, our country is coming into its maturity. It is a transitional period, and we are really.going to bring all our efforts to bear on realizing genuine democracy. I hope that you will be able to watch us, alwa y s have concern and interest in us, and support our cause. We have come to the conclusion in this forum that we two countries are precious friends. We just cannot live without each other. And I would like to say that the Olympic Games will bring a lot of a d vantages to Korea. They will upgrade and bring advancement to every area in this country. Therefore, by the time the 1988 Olympics are ended, we, as friends of the U.S. who have been using your aid and your support, will be able to play a vital role in th e world as your reciprocal partner.




Tae-Woo Roh

Visiting Fellow