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Apr 24

Transforming the U.S. - South Korean Alliance

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

The U.S.-South Korea military alliance has been a bedrock for maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia.  The inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak was welcomed by the United States as was his pledge to strengthen the bilateral relationship into a "future-oriented partnership."  South Korea's growing military capabilities and the decision to transfer wartime operational command to Seoul have generated calls for evolving the bilateral alliance to the next level.  But achieving such a fundamental transformation goes beyond weapons procurements and instead requires a strategic assessment of the desired end-state and envisioned roles, missions, and responsibilities.  What are the stumbling blocks or diversionary issues?  What changes need to occur in the mindset and military forces of both countries?  Is it simply a matter of the ROK deploying new capabilities or must the U.S. adapt its perceptions as well?

Richard Lawless, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, will address these issues and provide recommendations for transforming the alliance.  Our panelists all have had long involvement in U.S.-South Korean defense relations.  Dr. Kurt Campbell served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific in the Pentagon and Director on the National Security Council Staff.  Chuck Jones served on the National Security Staff as Director for Asia.  Kim Kyou-hyun is Minister for Political Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and served as Director-General of the International Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Defense.

More About the Speakers

Featuring Keynote Remarks by:

Richard Lawless
Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on
Regional Alliance Transformation

Followed by a Discussion with:

Kurt Campbell
Chief Executive Officer,
Center for a New American Security, and
former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Asia and the Pacific

Chuck Jones
Director Asia Pacific,
Corporate International Business Development,
Lockheed Martin and
former Director for Asia,
National Security Council

Kim Kyou-hyun
Minister for Political Affairs,
Embassy of the Republic of Korea

Hosted By

Bruce Klingner Bruce Klingner

Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia Read More