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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), with the generous support of the Korea Foundation, organized six “Vision Group” roundtable conversations with leading American scholars and commentators to discuss the United States’ relationship with the Republic of Korea. The first was held in December 2019, the last in November 2020. The intent was to consider the future of relations during a time of change. The Vision Group comprised a wide range of expertise and opinion. This record conveys some of the insights and recommendations that arose during the conversations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Maximilian Ernst
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This paper examines South Korea’s foreign policy towards China before, during, and after the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense dispute to investigate the limits of South Korea’s public diplomacy and soft power. South Korea’s official public diplomacy has the objective to “gain global support for Korea’s policies,” following Joseph Nye’s narrow definition of soft power. South Korea furthermore ranks high in the most relevant soft power indices. Based on the case of Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea in response to THAAD deployment, this paper argues that public diplomacy and soft power only work in the absence of traditional security contentions, but fail in the presence of such security contentions. The THAAD case also demonstrates the utility of traditional diplomacy, based on high-level summits and negotiations, to solve the very disputes that South Korea’s latent public diplomacy and soft power were unable to alleviate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Andrew Yeo
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the U.S.-South Korea alliance in the context of Asia’s evolving security architecture. At the crux of the issue is the Biden administration’s desire to uphold the rules-based international order by reinforcing the network of inter-Asia alliances and multilateral institutions, on one hand, and the Moon government’s relative reluctance to deepen and expand security ties linked to an Indo-Pacific strategy that counter-balances China, on the other hand. Leveraging the existing alliance relationship, the Biden administration should encourage Seoul to coordinate with other like-minded countries committed to sustaining a rules-based regional order while assisting Seoul in mitigating potential strategic vulnerabilities. Conversely, as a middle power, South Korea must not shy away from the region’s security architecture, but instead actively coordinate with other actors in shaping the region’s strategic environment. By working in concert with other countries in the Indo-Pacific, Seoul can reduce its geopolitical vulnerability while advancing its national and regional interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Geopolitics, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Prashanth Parameswaran
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy (NSP)—the most recent effort by Seoul to boost relations with Southeast Asian countries and India and diversify its relationships beyond four major powers: China, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Yet, at the same time, less of a focus has been placed on how to advance the security aspect of the NSP despite some of the inroads that have been made, as well as the underlying convergences of concerns and interests between South Korea and the countries of Southeast Asia. This paper addresses this gap by providing insights into South Korea’s security ties with Southeast Asia, based on a close analysis of South Korean and Southeast Asian accounts as well as conversations with officials and scholars on both sides. It makes three arguments. First, while South Korea’s efforts to advance security ties with Southeast Asian states as well as with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a bloc may have been met with mixed results so far, the inroads made still deserve attention and are rooted in several domestic, regional, and global drivers. Second, though these security ties create opportunities for Seoul’s relations with ASEAN countries, they also pose challenges that should not be ignored. Third and finally, advancing security relations between South Korea and Southeast Asian countries will require actions not just on the part of Seoul or ASEAN nations, but also other actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Troy Stangarone, Juni Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: KEI’s 2021 Report on American Attitudes on the U.S.-ROK Alliance and North Korea Policy summarizes results from a survey commissioned by KEI and conducted by YouGov on May 6th to May 10th, 2021 in advance of the U.S.-ROK summit on May 21st, 2021. The survey asked Americans their views on the U.S.-South Korea relationship, North Korea policy, and the U.S.’ role in the East Asian region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Patrick M. Cronin
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Diplomacy with North Korea must factor in an understanding of the Kim regime’s fears and insecurity. Pyongyang’s military actions and negotiating gambits jeopardize the United States, South Korea, and other nations’ vital interests and policy goals. Accordingly, the study of North Korean threat perceptions—how Kim Jong-un thinks about the utility of force and about threats to his regime—is essential for averting strategic surprise and buttressing diplomacy. National security strategy should be systematic, a deliberate calculation about national capabilities to achieve crucial objectives. It should be infused with an understanding of other actors, both friend and foe. A coherent national security strategy begins with clear and realistic written objectives. If aims are vague, it will be difficult to concentrate resources and mobilize others around a common cause. Similarly, if a nation’s goals are too ambitious and surpass the prospects or means for success, then the national security strategy represents wishful thinking and will likewise be difficult to carry out. What is needed is a serious attempt to grapple with the world as it exists and to harmonize a nation’s crucial ends with existing means.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, National Security
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Erin Engstran, Caitlin Flynn, Meg Harris
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Women make up more than 80 percent of North Korean migrants to South Korea. This paper provides a gendered analysis of their migration and offers recommendations to address the systematic oppression and abuse of North Korean migrant women and girls. Gendered human rights abuses and societal shifts in gender roles due to famine contributed to women leaving in record numbers. On the journey, often via China, women face human trafficking fueled by China’s skewed sex ratios, sexual violence, and the threat of extradition back to North Korea where defectors are imprisoned, tortured, or killed. Even those who successfully complete the journey suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, discrimination, and difficulty adjusting into South Korean society. Interventions and policies must acknowledge the gendered dimension of migration to effectively address the harm North Korean women and girls experience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Migration, Women, Refugees, Gender Based Violence , Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Choong Yong Ahn
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: India and South Korea, Asia’s third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively, established a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010 and upgraded their relationship to a special strategic partnership in 2015. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “New Southern” policy and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Act East” policy share important objectives and values through which Korea and India can maximize their potential to pursue high tech-oriented, win-win growth. Both countries face the great challenge of diversifying their economic partners in their respective geo-economic domains amid newly emerging international geo-economic dynamics as well as rapidly changing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Given the two countries’ excessive dependence on the Chinese market and potential risks and uncertainties involved in the U.S.-China trade war and related security conflicts, South Korea and India need to deepen bilateral linkages in trade, investment, and cultural contacts. South Korea-India cooperation is crucial in promoting plurilateralism, prosperity, and harmony in East Asia. This paper suggests a specific action agenda to fulfill mutual commitments as entailed in the “Special Strategic Partnership” between these two like-minded countries of South Korea and India.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Industry
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Jagannath P. Panda
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Both India’s and South Korea’s strategic choices are deeply influenced by the rapidly evolving Indo-Pacific construct, particularly amid a mounting U.S.-China rivalry. With India’s “Look/Act East” policy and South Korea’s “New Southern Policy” offering a perfect stage for deepened mutual cooperation, both nations need to further their relations to build Asia’s future while advancing their respective national interests. With both countries following stringent foreign policies as a result of the actions of their immediate neighbors, they present a geopolitically strategic complementarity for their relationship to prosper and emerge as one of the most important relationships in the region. Seoul’s hesitation to overtly embrace the “Indo-Pacific” concept is not really a barrier; rather a geo-political overture to discard the balance of power politics and pursue an autonomous foreign policy. India’s preference for the “Indo-Pacific” is equally based on strategic autonomy, imbibing universal values and an inclusive regional order. Both countries emphasize a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific and have immense potential to establish security and connectivity partnerships as the keystone of their bilateral ties. With India and South Korea understanding the economic importance versus security ramifications of China, and with Japan’s reemergence as a key regional, if not global actor, both countries need to bring serious strategic intent to their relationship. Making use of the ASEAN platform and bilateral dialogues, South Korea and India have the potential to become one of the strongest Indo-Pacific partners of the 21st century
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Mitchell Lerner, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Arissa H. Oh, Zachary M. Matusheski, Peter Banseok Kwon, Monica Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)
  • Abstract: A Roundtable on Monica Kim The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War: The Untold History
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, War, History, Military Affairs, United States , Korean War, Diplomatic History
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Karl Friedhoff
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump presidency has strained relations with several Asian allies, including South Korea. But the 2020 Chicago Council Survey results show that President Donald Trump’s repeated threats and bullying tactics on defense and trade issues with Seoul have done little to soften support among the American public for the alliance with South Korea. In fact, favorable views of South Korea are now at an all-time high.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North America, Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Stephen Ranger
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Throughout the history of inter-Korean relations, the process of engagement between 1984 and 1985 has been of little focus among studies. Yet it is worthy of close analysis as it occurred during a critical time when Cold War tensions were mounting with shifts in the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States as well as the upcoming Summer Olympics in Seoul. This article reveals the way in which the complex international environment shaped inter-Korean dialogue, particularly within the context of how each side was also seeking support from the Soviet Union. Crucially, it will show that inter-Korean dialogue formed an important source of legitimacy for the two Koreas, both domestically and internationally. This has ramifications for today where the two Koreas are seeking out contacts with one another within a regional order increasingly being shaped by China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Bama Dev Sigdel
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The main objective of this article is to assess the effect of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in terms of economic interrelations between Asian countries mainly China, Korea, India and Nepal. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of the most ambitious economic strategies in modern times that alters the economic, political and social relationship between Eastern and Western societies. It not only improves transport networks and facilitates trade, but also raises GDP of many economies. For China, BRI manifests its intention to become the next global power through bigger market access and economic opportunities. Although South Asia is less developed economically, it has high strategic utility for the BRI, which has drawn attention from China to deepen its relations in the region. On the other hand, South Korea has also emerged as a soft power in Asia. It has been playing a significant role in Asia by contributing the majority of its aid, i.e., 35 per cent in Asian economies and a major share of its FDI, i.e., 34.1 per cent. With the rapidly increasing growth of South Korea, it also has a growing relationship with ASEAN and other South Asian economies such as India to reduce its dependence on traditional trade allies. Moreover, for least developed economies like Nepal, the BRI can bring improved infrastructure, needed technology, managerial talents and greater connectivity to the world. South Korea can yield higher benefits through its relation with South Asia and especially Nepal through expansion of export and market access, access to cheap workable manpower to cope with its rising aging population, and less dependence on traditional allies through its investment in South Asian region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Economy, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, Asia, South Korea, Nepal
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman, Mark Tokola, Gilbert Rozman, Dmitri V. Trenin, Yuki Tatsumi, Kathryn Botto, Rush Doshi, Scott W. Harold, See-Won Byun, Cheol Hee Park, Brad Glosserman, Charles W. Boustany Jr., Matthew Goodman, Wonho Yeon, Kitti Prasirtsuk
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The experts in this volume have thoughtfully addressed themes that are pervasive throughout Asia and are timely for the U.S.-Korea alliance. With the future of Northeast Asia in flux, political leaders are hoping to transform their respective visions into the path forward for the region. Authors in the first section analyze the frameworks of U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discern the currents underlying geopolitical developments in the region. The second section examines the role of national identity in key bilateral Indo-Pacific relationships where geopolitical fault lines have become clearer. Chapters in this section cover the India-China, U.S.-China, South Korea-China, and South Korea-Japan dyads. The final section provides insights into how several of China’s neighbors and the United States are responding to its economic rise, which, of course, are also guided by strategic concerns. Considering how COVID-19 has exacerbated the rivalry between Washington and Beijing as well as the influence this relationship carries in shaping the future of the region, the contributions here are particularly relevant and timely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wonho Yeon
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This paper reviews China’s technological rise and assesses whether it poses a threat to the South Korean economy. In terms of comparative advantage between the two countries, many experts have long believed that China’s strength is low-cost labor and Korea’s is technology and capital. However, this has changed as China’s economy grows. Now China has enough capital to invest in its economy. Some scholars even argue that China has the potential to meet its “innovation imperative” and emerge as a driving force in innovation on a global level.1 This paper examines the Korea-China economic relationship from the innovation productivity perspective, organized into sections: briefly introducing the Korea- China economic relationship; describing the technological rise of China, based on recent data; developing the model to analyze the innovation productivity of China and report the estimation results; evaluating the concern of the South Korean semiconductor industry; and presenting conclusions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Cheol Hee Park
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: South Korean views of Japan are neither uniform nor unified. Considering that national strategic identities are competing even within a single country, it is not strange at all that South Koreans have complex and fragmented views of Japan. Depending on their ideological and dispositional orientations, South Koreans hold varying perceptions about Japan. It is much more so in the age of ideological polarization. Not only in the United States, but also in South Korea, identity politics more and more dominate. Widespread social networking service communications made tribal communications, instead of mass communications, permeate the society, which strengthened the trend of polarization. Increasingly people do not cross over ideological divides or social cleavage lines, creating islands of tribes to convince themselves in a particular way. The combination of ideological divide and tribal communications opens an unexplored political domain of contending views in a society. This chapter aims to delineate the development of complex and divided South Korean views of Japan, especially under the Moon administration. It shows South Korea divided within. Then it analyzes the rise of anti-Japanese elements in Moon’s handling of Japan affairs after 2017. Careful analysis of the Moon government’s posture toward Japan reveals that such aspects can be visibly identified. I also analyze the political background of rising anti- Japanese elements within the ruling party of South Korea, while attempting to show that alternative views of Japan are widely available despite the Moon government’s generally negative posture toward Japan. Based on a review of newspaper columns and civic initiatives for reconciling with Japan, this study further illustrates the existence of modest alternative views that are different from the government position. This clearly reflects that South Korea’s discursive space remains relatively democratic and plural. Finally, I address the question of whether political and diplomatic tensions would increase or decrease in the process of South Korean and Japanese interactions. Prescriptions are highly conditional in a sense that the level of tensions will be determined by the way interactions address the issues in contention. I take the position that there is not a single view but multiple and divided views of Japan in South Korea, particularly under the Moon administration. Although the Moon government contains a strong anti-Japanese and nationalist orientation, conservative intellectuals keep a moderate, cooperative stance toward Japan. One can find increasing diversity despite intense bilateral controversies over contemporary and past issues. I conclude that tensions between South Korea and Japan originate from political elites, rather than the general populace. Narrowing the perception gap between political leaders may be easier to do in bettering the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Public Opinion, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Michael MacArthur Bosack
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the multinational headquarters that led the allied forces in the Korean War. The command’s Military Armistice Commission supervises the Armistice Agreement. While the United Nations Command and its activities are common knowledge in the Republic of Korea, the command’s long-standing organization and functions in Japan are less well known. This relationship began in 1950 and is codified in the 1954 United Nations-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The command’s rear area headquarters, the aptly named United Nations Command-Rear Headquarters, has managed this relationship since 1957. After decades of few changes, the United Nations Command and its Sending States broadened traditional roles and missions from Japan beginning in the early 2000s. This led to expanded activities within the legal framework and security mandate governing the United Nations Command’s relationship with Japan, strengthening Japan’s ties with the command’s member states, and supporting the “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. This paper examines the relationship between the United Nations Command and Japan, beginning with the institutions and interests underpinning the relationship. Next, it describes the Status of Forces Agreement and how the relationship functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant policy issues, limitations to greater cooperation, and opportunities for expanded roles within the framework of the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Military Affairs, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations, United States of America
  • Author: Liudmila Zakharova
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The New Northern Policy, proclaimed by the South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Vladivostok in September 2017, is designed to boost economic cooperation between Russia and South Korea. However, two years after a special presidential committee was created to plan and coordinate joint economic efforts, few results have been achieved. Bilateral trade has continued to increase with limited change to its structure: Russia mostly sends its mineral resources to South Korea and receives industrial products in return. New ROK investment in the Russian Far East has yet to occur, despite South Korea’s efforts to assist its businesses in finding profitable Russian projects. Seoul tried to convince Moscow that concluding a free trade agreement in the near future is necessary for intensified cooperation, but Russia prefers a more gradual approach to trade liberalization. InterKorean rapprochement in 2018 laid a foundation for further progress in the implementation of multilateral economic projects involving Russia if the international sanctions against North Korea were to be eased. Therefore, bilateral relations between Russia and the ROK can also be viewed from the perspective of promoting regional cooperation with North Korean participation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Cheol Hee Park
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Demand for trilateral cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan is on the rise. However, political willingness and capacity for trilateral cooperation are declining, especially given recent diplomatic and economic tensions between South Korea and Japan. “Strategic Estrangement Between South Korea and Japan as a Barrier to Trilateral Cooperation,” a comprehensive report by Dr. Cheol Hee Park, nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, examines shifting perspectives on trilateral cooperation, the layers of conflict between South Korea and Japan, and the role of the United States and concludes by providing concrete policy recommendations for enhancing prospects for trilateral cooperation moving forward.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, National Security, Elections, Partnerships, Norms
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Patrick M. Cronin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: During an era in which strategic gravity is shifting to Asia, the United States cannot be careless in tending to its alliances with Japan and South Korea (the Republic of Korea, or ROK). The three countries face persistent threats from North Korea and from China’s semi-transparent bid for regional hegemony. Meanwhile, rocky relations between Tokyo and Seoul are jeopardizing vital U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific. The latest disagreement between America’s premier allies raises new questions about alliance strategy, commitment, and burden-sharing. These fissures have become exacerbated as the U.S. pressures allies to increase their contributions to regional security and reciprocal trade. [...] This report seeks to explain why the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK alliance are still a vital means of achieving overlapping strategic interests. At the same time, it also argues that keeping these alliances fit for purpose requires radical change rather than business as usual. Both a rapidly changing security environment and growing intra-alliance squabbling pose dangers that require U.S. leadership. This report concludes with specific ideas for advancing bilateral and trilateral cooperation in the coming months and years, without trying to achieve too much too quickly.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Security, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: China has great power over both Koreas, but its influence looks to be at its peak. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that the two Koreas are moving closer together and in the process shutting out outsiders. Moreover, the U.S., as it seeks to disarm North Korea, is pursuing policies undercutting Beijing’s role on the peninsula. And to make matters worse, China is beginning to limit its own effectiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Kyle Ferrier
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea is at a critical crossroads. The future of the liberal international order, a major source of strength for Seoul, is unclear. President Donald Trump has repudiated the longstanding American role of upholding the liberal order. While Beijing has been quick to capitalize on this policy shift, the norms China seeks to promote either fall short of or run counter to the advancement of an open and rules-based international system. Although South Korea may be caught between these two great powers, it is by no means powerless to influence how international economic norms are advanced. To best meet its economic and even strategic interests, the Moon administration should begin negotiations to have South Korea join the remaining countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, known as the CPTPP.
  • Topic: International Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trans-Pacific Partnership, Free Trade, Regionalism, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yun Sun
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Since being applied to U.S.-Soviet-China trilateral relations after the Sino-American rapprochement in the early 1970s, the notion/theory of “strategic triangles” has been widely used to examine many trilateral relations. The model of “U.S.-China plus one” is popular among students of U.S.-China relations and, consequently, the policy community has witnessed an increasing amount of scholarship on triangles among U.S.-China-India, U.S.-China-Japan, U.S.-China-Russia, and even U.S.-China-Taiwan. Unsurprisingly, this begs the question whether a strategic triangle could be construed and constructed among the United States, China, and South Korea. Generally speaking, despite the trilateral nature of U.S.-China-ROK relations, the Chinese policy community rarely subscribes to the existence of a strategic triangle among the U.S., China, and South Korea. This is not necessarily because South Korea does not carry the same strategic weight as the two great powers, but more importantly is because China does not see South Korea as possessing the strategic autonomy to act as an independent player in the trilateral relations. Although arguably such autonomy might exist in economic and trade relations, on key political and security issues, the Chinese see South Korea as invariably constrained by the U.S.-ROK military alliance and unable to form its own independent national security policy. In writing about the post-Cold War period with an emphasis on geopolitics, Chinese authors do not often treat South Korean policy or Sino-ROK relations as autonomous. Given the great weight given to the U.S. role, it is important, therefore, to take a triangular approach in assessing these writings centered on South Korea. I do so first explaining in more detail why the “strategic triangle” framework does not apply, then examining views on how this triangle has evolved in a period of rising Chinese power relative to U.S. power and fluctuating U.S.-ROK relations as the leadership in Seoul changed hands, and finally returning to the triangular theme to grasp how this shapes China’s understanding of Seoul’s policies with emphasis on the ongoing Moon Jae-in era.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jin Linbo
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This chapter draws a rough sketch of the evolution of Chinese views on Korean history in the Cold War era in three parts. The first focuses on the formulation of Chinese views of the Korean War in 1950 and the mainstream assessment of the war after Sino-South Korean diplomatic normalization in 1992. The second focuses on China’s attitudes and policies toward the two Koreas in the Cold War years. The third deals with the changes and limits of perceptions on Korean history after diplomatic normalization and their impact on bilateral relations between Beijing and Seoul. For centuries many Chinese have firmly believed that the relationship between China and the Korean Peninsula is like that between lips and teeth, they are not only close to but also dependent upon each other. If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold. From the middle of nineteenth century, the geopolitical proximity and interdependence between the two have become the determining factors in formulating Chinese perceptions towards Korea. Since then the national security concerns symbolized by the sense of lips and teeth had been frequently stressed by some Chinese intellectuals and officials when both China and Korea were exposed to the growing imperialist expansion and geopolitical competition in East Asia. In order to maintain the traditional tributary relationship between China and Korea, China fought the first Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95. Although it was miserably defeated, and Korea was consequently annexed to the Japanese empire in 1910, the Chinese sense of lips and teeth remained undiminished. Rather, it was further strengthened among ordinary Chinese when the Cold War began and especially when the Korean War broke out in 1950. After the end of World War II, China faced a new situation on the peninsula. Korea was liberated from Japanese rule but soon divided into the Soviet backed socialist North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the U.S. backed capitalist South Korea, the Republic of Korea (ROK). As a newly established socialist country, China naturally allied itself with the Soviet Union and viewed the DPRK as a close friend while regarding the United States and ROK as hated foes. The intensified Cold War confrontation between the two camps and two Koreas triggered the outbreak of the Korean War. In order to safeguard its own political, ideological, and security interests, China quickly got involved in the war by sending the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPVA) to fight together with its DPRK friend against their common enemies. The war ended with a cease-fire armistice and created a friend and foe Cold War framework, which the new China was compelled to face even beyond the Cold War era. Under these circumstances, the majority of Chinese held the view that it was the capitalist enemy rather than the socialist friend who started the Korean War with a view to overthrowing not only the socialist government in Pyongyang but also the similar one in Beijing. Therefore, it was against this background that China’s attitudes and policies toward the two Koreas in the post-Korean War era were doomed to be ideologydriven and DPRK sympathetic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, History, Korean War
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Kirk W. Larsen
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: In July 2014, Ambassador Qiu Guohong in preparation for Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul stated that the “relationship between South Korea and China couldn’t be any better.”1 Among the many reasons for this—economic, geostrategic, cultural—was a shared sense of history. China and Korea, officials and commentators in both nations claimed, were close because of their agreement regarding the significance of their experiences as victims of foreign, particularly Japanese, imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. History, that constellation of memories, stories, and notions about the past, has often been deployed to reinforce conceptions of identity, to support certain courses of action, and to demarcate between the in-group and the other. But history is ever malleable and protean. Not only do individuals, institutions, and ideas change but so does the understanding of them. When one draws on the past, one inevitably focuses on a limited set of events or narratives that best serve one’s interests—to the exclusion of potentially equally valid candidates. Their utility can vary over time; one need only think of how figures such as Zheng He or Confucius have been imagined and re-imagined over the last century. This has been the case with the history of relations between China and Korea from the latenineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. For many Chinese, Korea has served first as a subject of contestation as China’s position in Korea was challenged by both Western and Japanese powers. Then, when it became increasingly clear that China (or the Qing Empire) was losing this contest, Korea became an omen of China’s own fate absent significant course changes. As Japan’s growing empire engulfed Korea and subsequently threatened parts of China, resistance served to bring China and Korea closer; many in China celebrated what they saw as courageous resistance to Japan—such as when An Chunggun assassinated Ito Hirobumi in 1909. Shared status as victims of Japanese imperialism in an age of “humiliation” brought the two closer, and the mutually shared memory of “humiliation” has been deployed by contemporary Chinese and South Korean leaders—Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye—to foster greater levels of cooperation. However, past conceptions of China, Korea, and the Sino-Korean relationship have sometimes ranged far afield from the cherished tropes of humiliation and the struggle for independence. Even seemingly universally agreed upon symbols, such as An’s heroic 1909 assassination, find themselves subject to changing interpretations such as recent emphasis by some on his pan-Asian vision of Sino-Korean-Japanese cooperation rather than his bold anti-Japanese act. As interests and priorities change, so does the utility of any particular historical narrative.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Imperialism, History
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Sheila A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Once more, the United States, South Korea, and Japan have confronted a crisis with North Korea. The pattern is now well established. First, there is a provocation—a missile test, a nuclear test, and even worse, the use of force. Next, the United States and its allies in Northeast Asia muster their forces, strengthen their trilateral policy coordination, and sanction the belligerent Pyongyang. The three nations advocate for the accompanying effort by the United Nations Security Council to condemn North Korea’s behavior. Setting aside their political differences, Seoul and Tokyo intensify their military cooperation and Washington calls for greater trilateral unity in confronting a shared security challenge. In 2017, policymakers in Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo found themselves in a similar cycle but with the threat of war ever more real. The dramatic escalation of tensions between President Donald J. Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to bring the region to the brink of a second Korean conflict. But today, just as dramatically, an accelerated series of high-level summits suggests that the Korean Peninsula could be on the brink of peace. President Moon Jae-in met with Kim at Panmunjom, and both Kim and Moon stepped across the line of demarcation at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. The two leaders have embraced a “new era of peace,” with the promise of ending the state of war on the peninsula. Trump has also said he is willing to meet Kim to discuss denuclearization. CIA director Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang on April 1 to test out that proposition, and as secretary of state, Pompeo had the lead in setting the stage for a meeting in Singapore. The Moon-Kim meeting set up the premise of a negotiated denuclearization process. Trump and Kim will define the contours of that path forward.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Peace
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North America, Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Chung Jae Ho
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Pertinent literature abounds on how East Asian states have struggled to position themselves vis-à-vis a rising China over the past two decades. Due to its geographical proximity and cultural similarities with China, as well as its strategic importance to both the United States and China, South Korea’s tightrope-walking has been more pronounced than anyone else’s.1 Given the crucial strategic issues regarding U.S.-China relations and the North Korean conundrum, how the Seoul-Beijing relationship is to evolve undoubtedly constitutes a key variable in regional security dynamics. This chapter asks what is Seoul’s recipe for dealing with a China that is becoming more “assertive,” examining its changing strategic and diplomatic stance over the years of the Park Geun-hye administration and the first year of the Moon Jae-in government. Of the six sections, the first offers a brief overview of the complex relationship since diplomatic normalization in 1992. The second outlines key features of an era of overoptimism during the first three years of the Park administration (2013-15). The third delves into the issue of THAAD (terminal high-altitude area defense) deployment and how that utterly shattered the Park-Xi honeymoon in 2016. The fourth offers a discussion on China’s narrowly-focused sanctions during 2016-17. The fifth is devoted to the first year of the Moon administration, focusing on envoy politics, the “three-noes controversy,” and Moon’s state visit to China. The final section provides concluding assessments of the factors critical in shaping Moon’s policy toward China and where the room for mending relations remains.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Sanctions, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: At the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), we foster connections to advance United States-Republic of Korea ties. Through bringing together people with an interest in topics of importance to this relationship, KEI works to further mutual understanding between our two countries. With a whirlwind of new developments in the region, sharing ideas now is of even greater importance. Our 2018 Academic Symposium, through which we endeavor to bridge the academic and policy communities, contributes to understanding crucial questions in the Asia-Pacific. KEI held parts of our Academic Symposium at two conferences this year for the first time. We were pleased to return to the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference for two panels in San Francisco, California. The conference featured over 6,000 international affairs scholars from around the world with a wide range of research interests and regional specializations to present papers and hold discussions on contemporary issues. We were also pleased to contribute a panel presentation to the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Washington D.C., which included nearly 4,000 researchers from various disciplines focusing on Asia throughout history. And, for the third year as part of our Academic Symposium, KEI hosted a fourth panel in our own conference room. Marking seven years of collaboration, KEI again turned to the skills and insights of Dr. Gilbert Rozman, the emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for this Joint U.S. - Korea Academic Studies volume and as an advisor to KEI’s programs at the ISA and AAS conferences. This partnership has once more brought together an excellent group of scholars and practitioners. The experts in this volume have thoughtfully addressed themes that are pervasive throughout Asia and are timely for the U.S.-Korea alliance. South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017 with ambitious plans for diplomatic initiatives, but faced challenges from both home and abroad in implementing them. How President Moon has pursued his foreign policy options so far is explored in the first section. As China looks ahead to playing a larger role in region, the second section reminds us of how Beijing’s past relationships on the Korean Peninsula play a pivotal role in its outlook towards Seoul and Pyongyang. The penultimate section examines how key regional stakeholders are seeking to advance their trade interests in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s break with international economic policy norms. In the final section, the authors attempt to make sense of North Korea’s outreach in 2018 by each analyzing its possible strategies. Whether our connection with you is new or continuing, we hope you enjoy the 29th edition of the Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies volume.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The sudden announcement of a North Korea-U.S. summit in March 2018 upended all previous diplomacy concerning North Korea’s nuclear program. In return for a bilateral presidential summit, Pyongyang has agreed to suspend testing of its nuclear and missile programs and accepted the continuation of scheduled U.S.-South Korea exercises as planned. While this unexpected development reduces tensions and opens up a political path to a solution on the Korean Peninsula, it also imparts increased urgency for a well-conceived U.S. diplomatic strategy so that the summit and any ensuing negotiations lead to positive outcomes for Washington and Seoul and the other interested parties, thus ensuring its sustainability. In this context, the author advances an assessment of the current situation and a proposal for a U.S. program that could reduce military tensions in and around Korea, lead to the stabilization of a new and legitimate equilibrium in Northeast Asia, and advance shared American, South Korean, and Japanese objectives.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Weapons , Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, Korea, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Author: John Grundy
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The historical legacy of North Korea is characterized by occupation and conflict, and economic rehabilitation and then collapse, with tragic and widespread consequences for population health. From the standpoint of the historical determinants of health, this paper reviews the health system in North Korea between 1953 and 2016. Ideology and political relations have been dominant forces in determining the evolution of the health care system and population health. Despite the development of an extensive primary health care system in the country from the early 1960s following the establishment of the DPRK state in 1948, the public health system experienced a major decline in the 1990s, with catastrophic implications for the health and survival of the population. In recent years, evidence has emerged of some important public health gains, particularly through immunization, women's and children's health, and communicable disease control initiatives. This experience demonstrates that, within the overall policy context dominated by the historical and political determinants of health, there remains the capacity for implementation of public health programs that can yield both tangible health benefits for the population in North Korea, as well as assist the health system to edge closer to a regional standard.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Ideology, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea