US-Korea Relations: Death of Kim Jong Il

Author
Ellen Kim, Victor D. Cha
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Comparative Connections
Volume
13
Issue Number
3
Publication Date
September 2011
Institution
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Abstract
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's state visit to the US was a big event that attested to the strength of the two countries' relationship and the personal ties between Presidents Obama and Lee. The timely passage of the KORUS FTA in the US was the big deliverable for the summit. Final ratification of the FTA in both countries clears one longstanding issue and lays the foundation for greater economic integration and a stronger alliance. Meanwhile, the most shocking news for the final third of the year was the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in late December. His death disrupted US-DPRK bilateral talks as North Korea observed a mourning period for its late leader. The US and South Korea spent the last two weeks of December quietly watching developments in North Korea as the reclusive country accelerated its succession process to swiftly transfer power to the anointed successor, Kim Jong Un.
Topic
International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
Political Geography
United States, South Korea, North Korea, Korea