Return to   |   Subscribe to the Korea Update March 2015

Council on Foreign Relations Korea Update March 2015


CFR Delegation Meets South Korean President

In February, a delegation of Council on Foreign Relations members led by CFR President Richard N. Haass toured Seoul and Tokyo. While in Seoul, Dr. Haass met with President Park Geun-hye to discuss the U.S.-South Korea (ROK) alliance. The delegation also met with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, members of the South Korean business community, and scholars and experts from research institutions in Seoul.

Beijing and Seoul at Odds Over ROK Self-Defense

Several high-level Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, have taken issue with South Korea’s potential deployment of a Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery. Scott A. Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes that South Korea’s decision is a response to continued improvement in North Korean missile capabilities. Instead of coercing South Korea, Snyder argues, China’s campaign could end up stimulating a backlash and chipping away at trust in Seoul.  Read more at Asia Unbound »

North Korea Has Its Yellowcake and Eats, Too

The latest UN Food and Agricultural Organization assessment of North Korea (DPRK), released February 3, shows that DPRK food production remained steady in 2014. The assessment is consistent with anecdotal reports that North Korea has made productivity improvements in recent years, resulting in a stable or even slowly growing economy. North Korea’s apparent economic progress is bad news for those who expect increased sanctions to make North Korea give up its nuclear weapons, writes Snyder. Read more at Asia Unbound »

Aligning U.S. and ROK Visions for East Asian Cooperation

Park Geun-hye identifies three main challenges that must be addressed to resolve the tensions in Northeast Asia: the possibility of political competition between the United States and China, Japan’s unwillingness to address historical issues tied to its past aggression within Asia, and the failure to establish a stable inter-Korean relationship. In a CFR Discussion Paper, Snyder and Woo Jung-yeop, research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, argue that Park’s proposed Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative aims to define South Korea’s nascent leadership role within East Asia—goals central to the U.S. rebalancing effort Read more at »

Media Mentions

Joongang Ilbo (Korea), “Korea May Be the Pivot Point for the U.S. Asia Rebalance Policy” (February 25, 2015)

National Interest, “China’s Affairs With the ‘Other Korea’” (February 24, 2015)

Yonhap News (Korea), “President Park Meets Delegates from the Council on Foreign Relations, Discusses U.S.-Korea Alliance and the Unification of the Korean Peninsula” (February 23, 2015)

Yonhap News (Korea), “ Yun Byung-se, ‘U.S.-Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Will Be a Breakthrough in U.S.-Korea Alliance’” (February 23, 2015)

Nocut News (Korea), “North Korea’s Economy is Stable, with Increased Cereal Import” (February 20, 2015)

Voice of America, “Czechoslovakia Raises North Korean Human Rights Concern to Ambassador Kim Pyong-il… North Korean Teenagers With Disabilities Perform in Europe” (February 20, 2015)

Voice of America, “North Korea: Sharp Increase in Commercial Cereal Import Reflects Decreased Worldwide Support and Improved Economy ” (February 20, 2015)

Telegraph, “North Korea Food Production Improves Slightly” (February 19, 2015)

Yonhap, “N. Korea’s ‘Byungjin’ Policy Showing Modest Results: U.S. Expert” (February 19, 2015)

Asia Today (Korea), “Why Does China Oppose Deployment of THAAD to Korea?” (February 16, 2015)

Yonhap, “China’s Heavy-Handed Opposition to THAAD Could Backfire: U.S. Expert” (February 16, 2015)

KBS News (Korea), “U.S. Expert, “China Tries to Contain U.S.-Korea Alliance Through Its Opposition to THAAD”” (February 15, 2015)

Yonhap (Korea), “'China Tries to Contain U.S.-Korea Alliance Through Its Opposition to THAAD,' U.S. Expert” (February 14, 2015)

Economy Today (Korea), “Council on Foreign Relations Fellow: China’s Opposition to THAAD Is To “Contain U.S.-Korea Alliance”” (February 14, 2015)

News1 (Korea), “Negotiation for Denuclearization Continues for U.S. and North Korea, Despite Criticism” (February 3, 2015)

NewsIs (Korea), “U.S. Secretly Attempted to Resume Talk With North Korea, but Stumbled as North Korea Insisted to Talk in Pyongyang” (February 3, 2015)

Washington Post, “U.S. and North Korea Have Been Secretly Discussing Having ‘Talks About Talks’” (February 2, 2015)



The Program on U.S.-Korea Policy

The program on U.S.-Korea policy was established at the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2011. It aims to strengthen the U.S.-Korea relationship by providing relevant policy recommendations and promoting dialogue on sensitive bilateral, regional, and global issues facing the two countries. The program acknowledges the generous support it has received 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. It also acknowledges with thanks additional support received from individual donor Sandor Hau.

Scott A. Snyder, Director
Follow @snydersas on Twitter

Darcie Draudt, Research Associate


Connect with CFR

cfr on facebook Facebook
cfr on twitter Twitter
cfr on youtube YouTube
cfr on youtube Mobile
cfr on youtube Join the conversation at»