Escalating tensions on the peninsula due to North Korea's recent provocations motivate Presidents Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye to closely coordinate policies toward the North. However, Beijing's shifty stance on sanctions, an increase in Sino-DPRK economic exchanges, and the obstacles to China-South Korea-Japan trilateral cooperation impede North Korea policy alignment between Beijing and Seoul. Still, the willingness of both leaders to improve bilateral relations offers a silver lining, explain CFR's Scott Snyder and See-won Byun of George Washington University.
President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye issued this joint declaration on May 7, 2013. The statement confirms both nations' commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) Mutual Defense Treaty, U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Joint Vision for the U.S.-ROK Alliance, and Six Party Talks with North Korea.
In their first White House meeting on Tuesday, Presidents Obama and Park will likely seek to reassert the long-standing security and economic relationship between the United States and South Korea, says CFR's Scott Snyder.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on April 12, 2013, at the American Chamber of Commerece in Seoul after his meetings with South Korean President Park and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun. He discussed economic cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the United States and nuclear issues in the region.
North Korea's ratcheting up of tensions requires South Korean and U.S. military forces in Korea to be prepared to defend against North Korean military incursions. Resumption of diplomacy will only be possible when North Korea signals it is ready to resume dialogue and all parties agree on an agenda that includes both tension-reduction and denuclearization.
On the upcoming South Korean presidential election, Scott A. Snyder says the determining vote will be "South Korea's bulging forties cohort" that played a critical role in South Korea's transition from authoritiarianism to democracy and also has the greatest stake in its economic stability.
Based on the premise that economic development and environmental protection can be complementary goals, the Global Green Growth Initiative provides technical and policy advice to developing countries. The program faces many challenges, but if successful, it may revolutionize the field of development.
Authors of the new CFR ebook Global Korea: South Korea's Contributions to International Security will discuss the ways South Korea is becoming a more active contributor to international security by participating in peacekeeping, antipiracy, postconflict stabilization, counterproliferation, and other activities.
Despite an ongoing threat from North Korea, South Korea has emerged as a producer rather than a consumer of international security goods. As a newly elected member of the UN Security Council, South Korea has the opportunity to use these investments as a "middle power" and responsible leader in the international community, says Scott A. Snyder.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »