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  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Korea's decision to delay joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks was a tactical mistake. It is now left with primarily two options to participate: (1) ask to join the TPP, if possible between signature and entry into force, or (2) accede to the TPP after the agreement is ratified and goes into effect—either alone or as part of a group of countries seeking TPP membership. For Korea the burden of adjustment in the TPP—in terms of liberalization commitments—will probably be higher than had it joined as an original signatory. As a major trading nation, it stands to reap large gains from increased trade and investment with TPP countries and should opt to join the TPP as soon as the window for entry reopens.
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In recent years, despite a history of enmity and armed conflict that never really ended after the Korean War more than 60 years ago, South Korea has been a major investor in North Korea, and South Korean firms have employed more than 50,000 North Korean workers. South Korea's stated goal has been to encourage sufficient economic progress by North Korea, emboldening it toward establishing a meaningful basis for reconciliation and, ultimately, national unification. The expectation, or at least the hope, has been to use economic engagement to lessen the North's direct state control over the economy and to encourage the development of a middle class that might demand greater internal opening. The goal, as enunciated by former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, has also been to foster a rise of interest groups with an enhanced stake in peaceable external relations.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Alex Brouse, Dustin McDonald
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: High tensions in Northeast Asia are cause for considerable alarm. Of particular concern for the maintenance of global security are the disputes over Senkaku/Diaoyu and Dokdo/Takeshima islands. Strong grievances rooted in history and rising nationalistic sentiment in China, South Korea and Japan have made the positions of the respective parties currently irreconcilable. The tension surrounding the issue of territorial control, particularly between China and Japan, has the potential to spark a military confrontation. Due to a lack of empathy and the propensity to overestimate threats from neighbours, the region is especially volatile. Public commitments by US President Barack Obama in support of the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty could ensure that any military confrontation between China and Japan might quickly escalate and draw the United States into direct conflict with China. In order to improve empathy, a concerted effort must be made to change the channel and work on issues where interests do align. Nowhere do the interests of China, South Korea, Japan and the United States align more than on the issue of North Korean denuclearization. By working together on an issue of mutual concern, these four countries can counter the rapid erosion of trust. By cultivating a cooperative attitude, tensions can be lowered, increasing the prospects for peaceful management of current acute disputes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Economic engagement between South and North Korea is often justified as a means of encouraging economic and social evolution in North Korea, with the ultimate goal of national unification. The South has invested heavily in the North, and firms have employed more than 50,000 workers. Yet expectations of a transformational impact rest on unexamined assumptions. The North recognizes the Trojan horse nature of the engagement policy: results of an original survey of South Korean employers show that the North Korean government has largely circumscribed the exposure of its citizens to both South Koreans and market-oriented economic practices, in the process violating labor rights defined by covenants to which both countries belong. The problem seems intractable, given that South Korea's diplomatic commitment to engagement with North Korea trumps labor rights concerns and South Korean firms perceive that the North Korean status quo confers benefits. As the experience of labor rights movements elsewhere shows, conditions will likely improve only if an aroused citizenry—here, the South Koreans—demands change.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seoul in July 2014 shows how the relations between China and South Korea have taken center stage in North- East Asia. Both countries are building up a growing strategic partnership, as a result of emerging cross-interests in the region and robust trade relations. This dynamic underlines the dilemma Seoul faces in maintaining a strong military alliance with the United States, while turning increasingly toward China as its core partner for both its economic development and its North Korea policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Mr Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: President Xi Jinping's July 2014 visit to Seoul indicates that the strategic partnership between China and the Republic of Korea is moving forward against a backdrop of growing power competition and instability in the region. Both Seoul and Beijing have strong interest in close cooperation: Beijing wants to prevent a full-fledged trilateral alliance between the US, Japan and South Korea aimed at containing China's rising power Seoul needs Chinese support in its efforts to reach out to Pyongyang and work towards future reunification.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Beijing, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Bruce E. Bechtol
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: South Korea is in a unique position. It is an economic powerhouse and a thriving democracy that faces the most ­ominous and imminent threat on its borders of any democracy in the world. Moreover, this is a threat that continues to evolve, with increasing missile, cyber, special operations, and nuclear capabilities and a new leader who shows no signs that he will be any less ruthless or belligerent than his father. To meet this threat, Seoul has undertaken a number of efforts to better deter and defend against North Korean capabilities and provocations, including increasing the defense budget, upping training with US forces, creating new command elements, and establishing plans for preemptive strikes against imminent North Korean missile launches. However, in part because of administration changes in Seoul, the South Korean effort has been uneven. And decisions remain to be made in the areas of missile defense, tactical fighter aircraft, and command-and-control arrangements that will be significant for not only South Korea but all states that have an interest in Northeast Asia's peace and stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Development, Emerging Markets, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Chaim Braun, Siegfried S. Hecker, Robert Forrest, Peter Davis
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: This study employed diverse teams of scholars organized by the East Asia Institute (EAI) and the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) to examine future opportunities for bilateral nuclear cooperation between South Korea and the United States and how to strengthen global nuclear governance. During the past 15 months, the teams exchanged ideas and perspectives of the nuclear industries in each country and their future trajectories, and analyzed future challenges and opportunities through multiple visits, workshops and conferences.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Joel Wit, Robert Carlin, Charles Kartman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: When the South Korean fast ferry Hankyoreh sailed out of North Korean waters into the cold wind and waves of the East Sea on the morning of 8 January 2006, it carried a sad and somber group of South Korean workers, ROK officials, and personnel from the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). These were all that remained of a decade long multinational effort transforming what in 1994 had been only a paper notion into a modern construction complex of steel and concrete. KEDO's profile on the North Korean landscape was unmistakable, its impact on Pyongyang profound. Yet, real knowledge and understanding about the organization in public and official circles in South Korea, Japan, and the United States was terribly thin at the beginning, and remains so to this day.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Farida Bena
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, established in Busan, South Korea in 2011, set the international standard on the principles of effective aid and good development to which all development actors should subscribe. These principles include: country leadership and ownership of development strategies; a focus on results that matter to the poor in developing countries; inclusive partnerships among development actors based on mutual trust; and transparency and accountability to one another.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Yogesh Joshi
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: US President Barack Obama used his 2012 State of the Union speech to explain that evolving geopolitical realities continue to make the United States indispensable in global politics. In the Asia-Pacific this indispensability emanates, in part, from the waves caused by the rise of China. Consequently, demands for an increased US presence echo around the region. In response, the United States has renewed its commitments to Japan, South Korea and Australia, stepped up its relations with Southeast Asia, and reasserted itself as an important player in multilateral institutions including the East Asia Summit, APEC, and ASEAN. Clearly, in the 21st century, US strategic focus has shifted from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Security, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: A few days before Seoul hosted the official Nuclear Security Summit in late March, experts met to discuss progress on nuclear security. The keynote speaker, Dr. Graham Allison from Harvard University, suggested a strategy of three “No's” to reduce future nuclear risks: no loose nuclear weapons or materials; no new national enrichment or reprocessing facilities; and no new nuclear weapon states. This strategy links traditional “nuclear security”—physical protection of nuclear material—with nuclear nonproliferation and fuel cycle management. Yet at the summit a few days later, the 52 heads of state, along with leaders of four international organizations on nuclear terrorism, focused on doing exactly the opposite: separating out nuclear security from nonproliferation, and putting as much distance between the growth of nuclear power and nuclear risks as possible. The result: underwhelming progress and no surprises.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Michael McConnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: ASEAN countries have long been an important international market for US agricultural exports. The United States, in 2011, exported almost $9.6 billion of agricultural products to ASEAN, making it the sixth-largest export destination for US farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses—behind Japan ($14 billion) and just behind the European Union ($9.6 billion), but well ahead of South Korea ($7 billion). Moreover, the value of agricultural trade between the United States and ASEAN almost doubled between 2007 and 2011, with the top four ASEAN markets in 2011 for the United States being Indonesia ($2.8 billion), the Philippines ($2.1 billion), Vietnam ($1.7 billion), and Thailand ($1.3 billion). With a population of 614 million and strong economic growth, it is expected that ASEAN will continue to be an important market for US agricultural products. However, the United States is likely to face increasing competition, particularly from China, Australia, and New Zealand, all of which have free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, East Asia, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand
  • Author: Aurel Croissant, David Kuehn, Philip Lorenz
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In recent decades, several East Asian nations have undergone democratic transitions accompanied by changes in the balance of power between civilian elites and military leaders. These developments have not followed a single pattern: In Thailand, failure to institutionalize civilian control has contributed to the breakdown of democracy; civil-military relations and democracy in the Philippines are in prolonged crisis; and civilian control in Indonesia is yet to be institutionalized. At the same time, South Korea and Taiwan have established civilian supremacy and made great advances in consolidating democracy. These differences can be explained by the interplay of structural environment and civilian political entrepreneurship. In Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia, strategic action, prioritization, and careful timing helped civilians make the best of their structural opportunities to overcome legacies of military involvement in politics. In Thailand, civilians overestimated their ability to control the military and provoked military intervention. In the Philippines, civilian governments forged a symbiotic relationship with military elites that allowed civilians to survive in office but also protected the military's institutional interests. These differences in the development of civil-military relations had serious repercussions on national security, political stability, and democratic consolidation, helping to explain why South Korea, Taiwan, and, to a lesser degree, Indonesia have experienced successful democratic transformation, while Thailand and the Philippines have failed to establish stable democratic systems.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Vanessa Wyeth, Rachel Locke
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Amid much fanfare, the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” was endorsed by forty-one countries and multilateral organizations at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, on November 30, 2011. The culmination of two years of work by members of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, the New Deal was hailed as a major breakthrough in efforts to seek a new approach to development assistance to fragile states. By agreeing to the New Deal, donors belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) effectively joined with a coalition of seventeen conflict-affected and fragile states calling themselves the “g7+” to shine a spotlight on the need to apply a different development paradigm to these most challenging of contexts. However, the proof of any international agreement is in its implementation. This issue brief provides an overview of the history preceding Busan, the meaning of the agreement reached in South Korea, and prospects for implementation of the New Deal moving forward, with a particular focus on the role of the United Nations.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Globalization, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A year after North Korea shelled an island in the South, killing four people, relations on the peninsula remain tense. South Korea has stepped up its warnings of tough retaliation in the case of further attacks and has frozen most political and economic ties. While Pyongyang has made some efforts to restart talks, it has refused to apologise for the attack and has kept up a torrent of abuse against President Lee Myung-bak, who in turn has maintained his tough line. But the political atmosphere in the South is changing as it enters an election season, with the mood shifting towards a more conciliatory position, including renewed interest in a peace zone in the Yellow Sea.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Israel, South Korea, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Nicola Casarini
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: East Asia is home to some of the most important trading partners of the Union. China is foremost among these, ranking second only to the US - in 2009, EU-China trade totalled a massive €296 billion - while the EU is China's most important trading partner. Japan is the sixth-largest trade partner of the EU - in 2009, EU-Japan trade was almost €92 billion. South Korea is the EU's eighth-largest trade partner and the EU has become South Korea's second largest export destination - total trade in 2009 was above €53 billion. Furthermore, on 6 October 2010 the EU and South Korea signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is the most ambitious bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU, and the first with an Asian country.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Elizabeth Hervey Stephen
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The South Korean military currently is the sixth-largest in the world. But years of low birth rates have resulted in declining numbers of young men available for military service, and the country now faces the pressing question of how to ensure national security in the face of inevitable troop reductions. Some options for offsetting this shrinking recruit pool (such as increasing fertility, increasing immigration, and increasing the number of women in the military) might seem obvious, but the complex economic, social, and cultural reality of South Korea make them unlikely to be embraced. The best focus for immediate action is to stabilize or increase service terms and to encourage development and implementation of high-tech security systems. While the recruit pool appears nearly adequate at present, South Korea must act quickly to develop the leaner, more diverse, and more technologically based military necessary for the country to maintain a viable military force.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Daniel Byman, Jennifer Lind
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Predictions of the Kim regime's demise have been widespread for many years, particularly in the 1990s, as upwards of 1 million North Koreans perished in a famine. Limited openness in the form of bustling markets and some cross-border trade were viewed as a possible threat to the regime's control. Recently, analysts have argued that North Korean bellicosity—for example, the March 2010 attack on a South Korean warship and its nuclear and missile tests in 2009—is aimed at a domestic audience: an effort by a weak regime to shore up support among the North Korean military in advance of succession. Analysts also point to surprising popular protests after Pyongyang's botched 2009 currency reform and to increased information flows as reasons to think the regime may soon fall.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On December 3, 2010, the United States and South Korea agreed to incremental changes to the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) that was signed in June 2007 but not ratified by the US Congress or the Korean National Assembly. Most of the changes affect bilateral trade in autos and light trucks; other minor changes involve pharmaceutical patents, US pork exports, and US visas.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea
  • Author: Jasmine Burnley, Elizabeth Stuart
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When the G20 meets in Seoul in November 2010, it has a big choice to make. It can either retreat into a narrow focus on its own interests, or it can prove it is capable of genuine global leadership in the face of the interlinked economic, food, and climate change crises. The G20 must adopt a Seoul 'development consensus' that confronts the challenges of the 21st century: reducing inequality and tackling global poverty through sustainable, equitable growth that gives poor women and men, and their governments, the tools they need to overcome poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Jae-Ok Paek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)
  • Abstract: South Korea's defense industrial transformation has been impressive by any standard. It was able to satisfy most of its basic weapons needs within a decade after launching its defense industry. Since the late 1990s, South Korea has been elevated from a third-tier arms producer to the second tier by moving from the stage of imitation and assembly to that of creative imitation and indigenization. It now competes with major arms-supplying countries. In addition, the South Korean defense industry has made remarkable progress in RMA-related areas mostly involving command, control, communication, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance. In this policy brief, we first assess South Korea's defense industrial performance by examining the patterns of defense acquisition, rate of localization of defense materiel, and defense exports. We then briefly analyze the evolutionary dynamics of defense industrial upgrades in selected sectors by tracing the stages of innovation. We also delineate a set of institutional and policy arrangements that have contributed to this impressive transformation.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Sidney B. Westley, Robert D. Retherford, Minja Kim Choe
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, women in Asia were having, on average, more than five children each, and there was widespread fear of a “population explosion” in the region. Then birth rates began to fall—in several countries more steeply than anyone had anticipated. This unexpected trend has now raised concerns about the social and economic impact of extremely low fertility. Today, four of Asia's most prosperous economies—Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—have among the lowest birth rates in the world. With women having, on average, only one child each, these societies have expanding elderly populations and a shrinking workforce to pay for social services and drive economic growth. And in Japan, overall population numbers are already going down. Why are women choosing to have so few children? How are policy- makers responding to these trends? Government leaders have initiated a variety of policies and programs designed to encourage marriage and childbearing, but to what effect? Given current social and economic trends, it is unlikely that Asia' s steep fertility decline will be reversed, at least not in the for eseeable future.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Population
  • Political Geography: Japan, Taiwan, Asia, South Korea, Singapore
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: North Korea and Israel have a lot in common. Neither is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and both employ their nuclear weapons in elaborate games of peek-a-boo with the international community. Israel and North Korea are equally paranoid about outsiders conspiring to destroy their states, and this paranoia isn't without some justification. Partly as a result of these suspicions, both countries engage in reckless and destabilizing foreign policies. In recent years, Israel has launched preemptive strikes and invaded other countries, while North Korea has abducted foreign citizens and blown up South Korean targets (including, possibly, a South Korean ship in late March in the Yellow Sea).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Vietnam is currently the fastest-growing market of international students coming to U.S. colleges and universities to study. Over the past decade, the number of Vietnamese students in U.S. higher education has increased more than sixfold, from just over 1,200 students in 1997/98 to almost 13,000 in 2008/09 (fig. 1). A large part of this increase has occurred in the past three years, with fall 2008 showing an increase of 45 percent, following increases of 45 percent and 31 percent the previous two years. These continuous, large increases have placed Vietnam among the top ten places of origin of international students in the U.S., moving from 20 th place in 2006/07 to 13 th place in 2007/08 to 9th place in 2008/09. At community colleges, Vietnam is now the third most popular place of origin, after South Korea and Japan, and ahead of China and Mexico.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico
  • Author: Michael G. Plummer
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 2008–09 is the second major crisis in just over a decade that Asia has endured. Unlike the Asian crisis of 1997–98, however, the current crisis originated mainly in the West. Asia's excessive reliance on net exports as the principal driver of economic growth since the 1997–98 crisis rendered it especially vulnerable to external shocks, and most Asian countries have paid dearly. The more open the economy, the more vulnerable it is to such shocks. The newly industrialized Asian economies (Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan), which are among the most open and dynamic in the world, are expected to contract by about 6 percent in 2009.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Author: Roderick Abbott
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In an important shift, inspired partly by drift in the Doha Round negotiations, the EU announced in 2006 that it would seek new free trade area arrangements with fast-growing economies, particularly in Asia. The plan, which ended a moratorium on the launch of bilateral trade talks, in place since 1996, was billed explicitly as a contribution to the EU's own growth and jobs strategy as well as a market-opening exercise. However, the policy has so far been no more effective than multilateral negotiations in producing concrete results. Negotiations with South Korea and ASEAN have made only slow progress, while the state of talks with India remains unclear. The EU spent most of 2007 renegotiating long-standing agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in an effort to satisfy WTO rules. Meanwhile, the EU's partnership agreements with China and Russia have expired, and appropriate successor arrangements are still being sought. In both cases, a number of important bilateral problems and strains will need to be dealt with. With its various trade negotiations treading water, the EU may need to review its options. One could be a more aggressive pursuit of market access, modelled on the US approach. Alternatively, the EU's traditional preference for multilateral engagement may reassert itself.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, Asia, South Korea, Caribbean
  • Author: Jim Rollo
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Both Korea and the EU are pursuing free trade areas (FTAs) aggressively as part of their trade policy strategies. Korea is much further down the road. There are strong incentives on both sides to conclude an agreement. However, specific issues and EU's desire to do at least as well as, and preferably better than, the Korea–US FTA may delay or even preclude success. Korea and the EU are not principal suppliers to each other, so while an agreement is predicted to be economically favourable to both sides, the effects are not expected to be very large. Korea has the higher barriers and is expected to make the bigger economic gains. There are sensitive sectors on both sides, notably automobiles for the EU and services and processed foods for Korea. Both sides have important agricultural constituencies to protect. Korea's key role in the East Asian production system suggests that rules of origin could be an area of particular difficulty in the negotiation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, East Asia, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A continuing leitmotif of the Six Party Talks—among the United States, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea—is the prospect that a resolution of the nuclear question could set the stage for more institutionalized and enduring multilateral cooperation in Northeast Asia. The Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, which outlined the principles governing subsequent negotiations, referenced new “ways and means for promoting security cooperation in northeast Asia,” and the February 13, 2007 Joint Statement created a Working Group on a Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism (NEAPSM).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With a newly elected South Korean president willing to join the United States in standing up to North Korea, the Bush administration now has a unique opportunity to put pressure on Kim Jong Il to abandon his country's nuclear program and desist from its human rights abuses. In this article, AEI's Nicholas Eberstadt asks whether the administration will seize the opportunity.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Sarah Dye
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: During the mid-1990s, North Korea experienced a famine that killed millions of people, mostly in rural areas. Despite the severity of that famine and the ensuing deterioration of public health, the political leadership in North Korea has obstinately blocked the effective delivery of humanitarian aid to its citizens. On November 16, 2006, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Task Force on Public Health and Conflict held its first symposium, which selected North Korea as a case study. The Task Force is committed to raising the profile of conflict analysis and resolution in the field of public health education through a year-long series of events. The speakers at this first symposium included Scott Snyder of the Asia Foundation; Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch; two South Korean physicians, Kim Jin-Yong and Lee Yun-Hwan; Courtland Robinson, a Johns Hopkins faculty member and researcher; and one North Korean refugee who addressed the symposium under a pseudonym. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes the symposium's discussion on public health and conflict in North Korea.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: The worldwide Pugwash community has lost a friend, mentor and moral touchstone. Jo Rotblat in so many ways was Pugwash, beginning with his organizing efforts for the first international scientific conference in Pugwash, Nova Scotia in 1957, to the 54th Pugwash Conference held in Seoul, South Korea in October 2004 – the last he attended.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: John Gershman
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President Bush is in Asia this week for a series of meetings, including bilateral meetings in Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia and attending the economic leaders meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. This trip comes on the heels of a disastrous trip by President Bush to Latin America, but there is little sign this trip will do much to rescue the President's sinking foreign policy reputation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: On September 19, North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear program. As part of the same agreement, which followed the latest round of the Six Party Talks, the United States pledged not to attack or invade North Korea, to coexist peacefully with the country, and to work toward normalized relations. The United States and other parties to the agreement — China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea — offered to put together an energy package for North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the impeachment of President Roh Mu Hyun on dubious grounds, South Korean democracy once again seems imperiled. Roh may be forced out, but the Constitutional Court may instead keep him in place, thereby leaving the public to decide whether to support a weak president or a corrupt national assembly.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: James J. Przystup, William M. Drennan
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, the United States and South Korea signed a mutual defense treaty designed to meet the "common danger" posed by North Korea to the survival of the South and to vital U.S. interests. The golden anniversary should be cause for celebration, but hold the applause. The alliance is in serious trouble, and possibly terminal decline, unless urgent steps are taken to revitalize it.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Despite the passage of 50 years since an armistice ended military hostilities, the Korean peninsula remains divided, a Cold War vestige that seemingly has been unaffected by the evolution that has occurred elsewhere. If anything, US confrontation with North Korea—a charter member of its “axis of evil”—has intensified in recent years. Yet today, increasing numbers of South Koreans, accustomed to living for decades in the shadows of the North's forward-deployed artillery, do not regard the North as a serious threat. Growing prosperity and confidence in the South, in marked contrast to the North's isolation and penury, have transformed fear and loathing into pity and forbearance. Instead, it is the United States, an ocean away, that regards the North and its nuclear weapons program with alarm. As the United States has focused on the nuclear program, its ally, South Korea, has observed the North Koreans' nascent economic reforms and heard their talk of conventional forces reduction, and the gap in the two countries' respective assessments of the North Korean threat has widened dangerously, threatening to undermine their alliance.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, East Asia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Jeffrey Brown, Kang Wu
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The Asia Pacific region's dynamic oil market is marked by strong growth in consumption, declining regional oil production, and over capacity in its highly competitive oil-refining sector. Its "key players" are China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea—a group that includes the region's five top consumers and three of its major producers—and developments in these countries will have commercial and strategic implications for the whole region. On the consumption side, Japan's slow growth in demand has failed to dampen regional growth, which is now driven by China and India's fast growing thirst for oil. On the supply side, Indonesia's inevitable transition to a net oil importer highlights the trend toward growing dependence on Middle East oil, which already comprises 42–90 percent of imports among the key players. In response to this trend, China, Japan, and South Korea are pushing to acquire overseas oil reserves, with Japan and China already locked in a fierce competition for projected Russian supplies—a type of struggle that will likely become more commonplace.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Indonesia, Middle East, India, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Choong Nam Kim
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: For half a century the United States and South Korea have been united in an alliance that has simultaneously contained North Korea and projected American power into Northeast Asia. Now that alliance is being questioned by many South Koreans, whose country has developed from a poor, authoritarian state into the world's 11th largest economy and a vital democracy. Along the way South Koreans' views of themselves and of other nations have changed. Improved relations with China and Russia, and a policy of engagement with North Korea, have reduced the country's dependence on the United States and South Koreans' tolerance for what they view as American arrogance and unilateralism. Indeed, Koreans today view their Cold War allies (the United States and Japan) more negatively than their Cold War enemies (North Korea and China), a situation that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. The poorly coordinated North Korea policy of Seoul and Washington appears to be a direct cause of anti-Americanism, which will grow unless the two countries develop a more equal, mutually acceptable relationship.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Israel, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Allan Song
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the World Cup soccer tournament, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, was beginning, Mr. Aidan Foster-Carter raised the issue of whether the two countries could take advantage of the unprecedented occasion to finally overcome their decades of hostility and forge a truly lasting friendship (“South Korea and Japan: High Time These Neighbors Put Future Before Past,” PacNet No. 22A, June 3, 2002). Although it was an interesting essay, I found the ending odd. He concluded by asking whether South Korea and Japan could finally move forward, but he coyly avoided an answer although it seemed that the answer was obvious to him.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The recent summit meeting between South Korean president Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il raises the prospect that the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula may at last be coming to an end. Although the latest effort at détente could ultimately abort as did similar initiatives in the 1970s and early 1990s, North Korea's dire economic straits probably leave the Stalinist state little choice this time but to open itself to the outside world and seek trade and investment from its prosperous, democratic South Korean rival.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Israel, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Korean Peninsula