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  • Author: Elton J. Chun
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the Republic of Korea concluded the 10th Special Measures Agreement on February 10, 2019. The two countries agreed to a one-year agreement after difficult negotiations in which Washington demanded that Seoul increase the amount paid to offset the costs of stationing American forces in Korea. Since 1991, Washington and Seoul have concluded 10 Special Measures Agreements. Unlike the previous five-year agreement, the 10th SMA was a “stopgap deal” that covered a one year of bilateral defense budgets with an option of extending the agreement for an additional year; it was the first SMA negotiated by the Trump administration. This article examines the 10th Special Measures Agreement, exploring the history of defense cost sharing between the two countries, effects on South Korea, implications for coordinating policy on North Korea, and influences on Japan, Russia, and China. The article concludes with an assessment on how the 10th Special Measures Agreement and other factors will affect future agreements.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: George Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. administrations have opted to negotiate with North Korea in an attempt to curb its nuclear ambitions. Rather than producing their intended effect, past negotiations have inadvertently served as a vehicle for North Korea to methodically achieve its nuclear objectives. This paper presents evidence of North Korea’s decades-old drive to maneuver through negotiations while also advancing its nuclear development, including its resistance to sign the IAEA safeguards agreement and its subsequent demands under the Agreed Framework which allowed Pyongyang to advance the clandestine portions of its nuclear program. The paper also explains, more specifically, how North Korea has used the negotiating process with the U.S. to achieve its objectives. Nuclear negotiations have followed a repeating cycle, with North Korea: (1) getting to the negotiating table; (2) agreeing to a freeze under a system of verification; (3) obstructing the verification process intended to monitor the freeze and then (4) blaming the U.S. for the ultimate collapse of the agreement while continuing to advance its weapons program. Finally, the paper uses the ‘repeating cycle’ framework above to assess events that have occurred during the Trump administration in order to predict probable future outcomes.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, War, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Troy Stangarone
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Following a relatively successful period for U.S.-South Korea economic relations under the Bush and Obama administrations, Washington and Seoul have entered a new period of economic tension in the Trump administration. Unlike prior U.S. presidents, who placed a priority on negotiating fair rules in the United States’ economic relationships, President Trump has prioritized outcomes. As a result, one of his administration’s earliest moves was to renegotiate the KORUS Free Trade Agreement. While the results of the renegotiation were modest, they may help to expand the sale of American automobiles in the Republic of Korea in the long-run. The largest outcome of the negotiations may be to protect the Ford Motor Company from South Korean competition in the U.S. market as the company transitions to sales focused on light trucks. While the renegotiation has eased tensions for the moment, the prospect of economic engagement with North Korea, the Trump administration’s continued use of national security to erect trade barriers, and the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles could result in growing tensions in the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Negotiation, Free Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Shawn P. Creamer
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the oldest and most distinguished of the four theater-level commands in the Republic of Korea. Authorized by the nascent United Nations Security Council, established by the United States Government, and initially commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the United Nations Command had over 930,000 servicemen and women at the time the Armistice Agreement was signed. Sixteen UN member states sent combat forces and five provided humanitarian assistance to support the Republic of Korea in repelling North Korea’s attack. Over time, other commands and organizations assumed responsibilities from the United Nations Command, to include the defense of the Republic of Korea. The North Korean government has frequently demanded the command’s dissolution, and many within the United Nations question whether the command is a relic of the Cold War. This paper examines the United Nations Command, reviewing the establishment of the command and its subordinate organizations. The next section describes the changes that occurred as a result of the establishment of the Combined Forces Command in 1978, as well as the implications of removing South Korean troops from the United Nations Command’s operational control in 1994. The paper concludes with an overview of recent efforts to revitalize the United Nations Command, with a focus on the command’s relationship with the Sending States.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Military Affairs, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America