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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 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…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2013 by Bruce Klingner The Kaesong Trap

    South and North Korean negotiators reached a preliminary agreement last week to reopen the jointly run industrial zone in Kaesong. But their success against considerable odds raises several questions. Most fundamentally, why does Seoul want to return to Kaesong in the first place? The benefits lop-sidedly accrue to Pyongyang, providing a steady source of hard currency…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted July 3, 2013 by Bruce Klingner President Park Should Persuade China on NK

    Trilateral meetings in Washington last week amongst U.S., South Korean, and Japanese officials affirmed there is no daylight whatsoever amongst the allies in their policy toward North Korea. Pyongyang has burned so many bridges over the years that now no ally is willing to re-engage before the regime proves through actions that it has changed its policy and behavior. The…

  • Lecture posted May 1, 2013 by Honorable Ed Royce The Enduring Legacy of America’s Commitment to Asia

    EDWIN J. FEULNER: I’m Ed Feulner. For the next 13 days, I am the president of The Heritage Foundation. I’m delighted to have with us this morning my successor as the new president of The Heritage Foundation, Senator Jim DeMint. Senator, we are very happy that you are able to join us this morning for our 16th annual B.C. Lee Lecture. It’s good to see so many friends…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Threats: What Washington Should Do

    North Korea is easy to ridicule. The country is an anachronistic hangover from the Cold War, replete with cartoonish propaganda and over-the-top threats. Its leader could well play the villain in a James Bond or Austin Powers movie. Self-appointed ambassador Dennis Rodman’s visit affirmed the image of the reclusive regime as the ultimate reality show. As such, the…

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  • 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 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…

  • 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 October 19, 2011 by Bruce Klingner South Korea: Taking the Right Steps to Defense Reform

    Abstract: South Korea has initiated a series of extraordinary defense reforms. These reforms are commendable and will redress many of South Korea’s security shortcomings. Seoul will be hampered in these efforts, however, by demographic and fiscal constraints. Yet such barriers must be overcome; an increasingly unstable North Korea and an expansive, belligerent China…

  • WebMemo posted December 7, 2010 by Bruce Klingner KORUS FTA: A Good Deal Unnecessarily Delayed

    After three years of needless delay, the South Korea–U.S. free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) may finally be submitted for legislative approval. On December 3, U.S. and South Korean negotiators produced a supplementary agreement that rewarded narrow U.S. special interests but still maintains the significant benefits of the original accord. While capitulating to U.S. auto…

  • Backgrounder posted August 10, 2010 by Bryan Riley A Prescription for Export Growth—and Economic Recovery

    Abstract: President Obama has pledged to double U.S. exports over the next five years—an ambitious goal. But the President’s strategy of creating Export Promotion Cabinets and subsidizing loans is not the way to make that happen. The federal budget deficit—$1.4 trillion—is the largest obstacle to increasing exports, every year diverting hundreds of billions of dollars in…

  • White Paper posted January 14, 2011 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Nicholas Hamisevicz Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts

    The global financial crisis has had a major impact on perceptions of American power and its relationships in Asia. Many of the perceptions are not founded on facts. Among the facts often overlooked: American companies invest far more abroad than does all of Asia combined. For every dollar the U.S. has invested in China it has invested two in Australia…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted December 6, 2012 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Missile Launch Challenges U.S. Foreign Policy

    North Korea announced on December 1 that, between December 10 and 22, it would again attempt to launch a “civilian satellite.” The Unha-3 launch vehicle is the same as the Taepo Dong-2 (TD-2) intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea previously test launched in 2006, 2009, and 2012. North Korea bragged in October that its missiles could “strike the U.S.…

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  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Threats: What Washington Should Do

    North Korea is easy to ridicule. The country is an anachronistic hangover from the Cold War, replete with cartoonish propaganda and over-the-top threats. Its leader could well play the villain in a James Bond or Austin Powers movie. Self-appointed ambassador Dennis Rodman’s visit affirmed the image of the reclusive regime as the ultimate reality show. As such, the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Increasing Risk of North Korean Tactical Attack on South Korea: What U.S. Needs to Do

    North Korea routinely threatens to annihilate South Korea, the United States, and Japan. After its recent successful long-range missile and nuclear tests, Pyongyang now claims it already has the capability to target U.S. bases in the Pacific and the American homeland with nuclear weapons. As frightening as these warnings are, North Korea would more likely conduct another…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted December 6, 2012 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Missile Launch Challenges U.S. Foreign Policy

    North Korea announced on December 1 that, between December 10 and 22, it would again attempt to launch a “civilian satellite.” The Unha-3 launch vehicle is the same as the Taepo Dong-2 (TD-2) intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea previously test launched in 2006, 2009, and 2012. North Korea bragged in October that its missiles could “strike the U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted September 24, 2012 by Bruce Klingner Washington Should Urge Greater South Korean–Japanese Military and Diplomatic Cooperation

    Abstract: Greater military and political cooperation between South Korea and Japan would protect South Korean, Japanese, and U.S. national interests in Asia. The growing North Korean and Chinese security threats to the region have motivated South Korea and Japan to cooperate more, but historical animosities and recent diplomatic missteps have constrained bilateral…

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Find more work on South Korea