The Korean peninsula remains one of the most heavily armed and dangerous places in the world. Despite its deteriorating economy, North Korea retains a standing army of over one million men and an enormous arsenal of artillery and missiles, most of them as close to Seoul, the South Korean capital, as Dulles Airport is to downtown Washington, DC. In 1994, the United States and North Korea almost went to war over the North’s nuclear program. Since then, Washington and Seoul have attempted to cap North Korea’s nuclear ambitions through the Agreed Framework, but the threat from the North remains.
South Korean President Roh Tae Woo spoke to the UN General Assembly on October 18, 1988, regarding Agenda Item 146: Promotion of Peace, Reconciliation, and Dialogue in the Korean Peninsula.
The United States and South Korea (Republic of Korea, or ROK) signed the Mutual Defense Treaty on October 1, 1953, and it went into force in 1954. The United States agreed to defend South Korea against future attacks by North Korea.
This armistice signaled the end of hostilities in the Korean peninsula until a final peace agreement can be found and it established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It was signed on July 27, 1953, by U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison representing the United Nations Command, and North Korean General Nam Il, representing both the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers. Several times, North Korea has stated it no longer recognizes the agreement, in 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013.
To encourage the free flow of conversation, the 2011 Corporate Conference was entirely not-for-attribution; however, several conference speakers joined us for sideline interviews further exploring their areas of expertise.
Former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin and Nobel Laureate economist Michael Spence on the global economic outlook.
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Edward Morse on energy geopolitics.
Additional conference videos include:
The authors assess the political, security, and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in Afghanistan and evaluate a range of policy options.
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More