Program on U.S.-Korea Policy

The Program on U.S.-Korea Policy aims to deepen and broaden the foundations for institutionalized cooperation between the United States and South Korea by promoting a comprehensive U.S.-ROK alliance partnership on emerging global, regional, and non-traditional security challenges. Objectives of the program include the establishment of a deeper understanding of South Korea's efforts to contribute on the international stage; its potential influence and contributions as a middle power in East Asia; and the peninsular, regional, and global implications of North Korean instability.

Initially established as the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy at The Asia Foundation in January 2009 with generous support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the program became a part of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in September 2011. The program is funded with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, Korea Foundation, and South Korean private sponsors, including Hyundai Motors, Korea International Trade Association, and the Federation of Korean Industries, as well as individual donor Sandor Hau.

The Program on U.S.-Korea Policy publishes a monthly newsletter on important issues in U.S.-Korea relations. Project results and issues of the newsletter prior issued prior to October 2011 are located here.

The Program on U.S.-Korea Policy also has projects planned in several areas.


The U.S.-ROK Alliance and East Asia

This project examines how to strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance amid potential changes in the regional security environment stemming from China's rise, and includes activities designed to facilitate a more active U.S.-ROK strategic dialogue on China, prospects for and implications of strengthened U.S.-ROK-Japan trilateral coordination in Northeast Asia, and discussions with selected neighboring states that share similar challenges to South Korea in managing the impact of China's rise.

Global Korea

This project examines South Korea's enhanced capabilities, expanded scope of interests, and efforts to raise its international profile in the area of international security. Research will include papers assessing South Korea's contributions in the areas of maritime security, post-conflict stabilization, disaster relief, international peacekeeping, and counterproliferation.

Functional Issues

The project considers prospects for specific functional areas of cooperation in the context of an expanded alliance, with special attention to U.S.-ROK cooperation in the areas of nuclear energy and nonproliferation, international development assistance, and climate change and green growth.

U.S.-ROK Coordination on North Korea

The project will assess specific aspects U.S.-ROK policy coordination toward North Korea, including an examination of the implications of instability in North Korea.

South Korean Domestic Politics and the U.S.-ROK Alliance

The project will involve analysis of ROK constituencies that shape domestic attitudes toward the alliance, with a special emphasis on the impact of South Korean public opinion, civil society, and legislative influences on U.S.-ROK alliance management.

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