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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 February 26, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Dear President Obama: It's Time to Confront the North Korea Question

    North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests have certainly shocked the world and triggered a cascade of stern responses. South Korean President Park Geun-hye stood up to Chinese pressure and economic blackmail by moving forward to improve her country’s defenses by deploying important American missile defenses—Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or what is commonly…

  • Commentary posted February 12, 2016 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Provocation

    For many years Korea has been known as “The Land of the Morning Calm.” Sunday, Feb. 7, I could have added a postscript: “The morning calm and the afternoon chaos.” I was sitting at Seoul’s magnificent Incheon International Airport, waiting to board my flight back home, when the news came that the Communist half of Korea — the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of…

  • Commentary posted February 12, 2016 by Peter Brookes China Useless Against North Korea’s Missile Mania

    Last month, Asia’s nonstop nuisance, North Korea, went “nuclear” with an atomic test; this month, it went “ballistic” with its launch of an Unha (“Galaxy”) missile carrying a Kwangmyongsong (“Bright Star”) satellite into space. Talk about anger management problems! Fortunately for us, January’s nuclear weapons test seems to have fallen shy of being the megaton-yielding,…

  • Backgrounder posted January 12, 2016 by Olivia Enos, Bruce Klingner Next Steps for Human Rights in North Korea

    After the release of the report of the United Nations commission of inquiry on human rights in North Korea (COI) in February 2014, the world can no longer deny the severity of Pyongyang’s human rights crisis. The horrific tales of abuse and sheer magnitude of “systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights” led the U.N. to conclude that North Korea was guilty…

  • Backgrounder posted January 11, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Japanese Defense Reform Supports Allied Security Objectives

    In September 2015, Japan passed defense reform legislation that enables it to play a more comprehensive role in responding to global security challenges. Japan’s reforms replace archaic restrictions on its forces that precluded Tokyo from assuming a role commensurate with its capabilities, resources, national interests, and international responsibilities. The legislation…

  • Issue Brief posted January 6, 2016 by Bruce Klingner North Korea Claims Successful H-Bomb Nuclear Test

    North Korea announced on January 4 that it had conducted a successful H-bomb nuclear test of a miniaturized warhead.[1] Prior to the announcement, sensors had detected a 5.1 magnitude seismic event at the same approximate location as North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test. Nuclear experts are continuing to analyze the data, but preliminary assessments are that North Korea did…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2015 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Nurturing a Crucial Alliance

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye is in Washington this week as the third of President Obama’s summit trifecta with Northeast Asian leaders. She has the opportunity to address growing regional security challenges and reassert an important Korean role on the world stage. When I attended President Park’s inauguration in 2013, I stated that I had “every confidence…

  • Backgrounder posted September 28, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Allies Should Include Japan in Korean Unification Plans

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye has made Korean unification a central tenet of her foreign policy strategy. While concurrently pledging to respond sternly to any North Korean provocation, she has repeatedly tried to engage Pyongyang. Like previous South Korean presidents, Park has sought dialogue with Pyongyang to defuse tensions, deter North Korean attacks, and…

  • Backgrounder posted September 25, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Matthew Rolfes, Daniel Kochis, Dean Cheng, Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner Meager Ground Forces, Extensive Global Challenges: A Primer for the U.S. President in 2017

    Whoever occupies the Oval Office in 2017 will face challenges around the world, including a resurgent Russia, an increasingly assertive China, a metastasized Islamic State (ISIS), and an emboldened Iran. Addressing these and other foreign policy challenges in the wake of the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” approach will require a fundamental change of…

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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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  • 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…

  • 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…

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