Return to   |   Subscribe to the Korea Update

Council on Foreign Relations Korea Update
June 2012

Three Hurdles for Emissions Trading Scheme

Jill Kosch O’Donnell

Jill Kosch O'Donnell analyzes South Korea's recently established emissions trading scheme, its implications, and obstacles to its success.

After months of roadblocks that seemed to signal the demise of South Korea's proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS), the South Korean parliament passed legislation establishing an ETS on May 2, 2012. South Korea is now on track to set a double precedent: creating the first nationwide greenhouse gas ETS in a developing country and being the first in Asia to do so. However, the effectiveness of this scheme will be determined by its ability to clear at least three hurdles on the road to implementation. Read the Report »


Inside the Two Koreas

South Korea's Crisis Management and the U.S.-ROK Alliance

The North Korean sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeong island in 2010 were turning points in inter-Korea relations. Nearly all forms of engagement were shut down, and the South Korean public was convinced of the need for a stronger deterrence and ROK military response, argue former ministers of defense and unification Kim Tae-young and Hyun In-taek, in a meeting with Korea Economic Institute president Charles L. Pritchard. Watch More on »

North Korea: The Impossible State

North Korea is the impossible state because no one internally is empowered to overthrow it, and no one externally cares enough to risk the cost of changing it, argues Georgetown professor Victor Cha. CFR Senior Fellow for Korea Studies Scott A. Snyder discusses with Cha the history of the Kim dynasty, U.S. policy toward the Korean peninsula, and North Korea as an outlier in a post-totalitarian world. Watch the Interview »

North Korea’s Growing Trade Dependency on China: Mixed Strategic Implications

North Korea's trade with China rose from 42 percent of North Korea's overall trade with the world in 2008 to over 70 percent in 2011. In theory, this growing trade dependency strengthens China's influence over the North Korean economy. China should work with North Korean constituencies who embrace reform to facilitate North Korean economic growth, prosperity—and normality. But China's leverage over North Korea and the potential for such cooperation is limited by a North Korean elite, who still consider the risk of losing political control too great. Read More on Asia Unbound »

An ROK Perspective on Changing East Asia and U.S. Foreign Policy

East Asia has been experiencing a power transition, structural changes, and a rise in the number of disputes that may serve as a source of conflict. Against this background, the Obama administration has announced its Asia-Pacific "pivot." Most East Asian states have welcomed the U.S. pivot as a stabilizing development. However, the United States should make its regional policy more reliable by forging a deeper collective vision, argues Choi Kang, president of the Institute of Foreign Policy and National Security at the Korea Diplomatic Academy. Read More on »

CFR 2013–2014 International Affairs Fellowships

International Affairs Fellowship in South Korea, sponsored by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies

The program assists midcareer scholars and professionals from the public and private sectors to advance their analytic capabilities and broaden their foreign policy experience in South Korea. Applicants do not have to be Korea specialists, and knowledge of the Korean language is not a requirement.

International Affairs Fellowship in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd.

The program provides a select group of midcareer U.S. citizens the opportunity to expand their professional horizons by spending a period of research or other professional activity in Japan. The program is intended primarily for those without substantial prior experience in Japan. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement.

Deadline: October 1. New online application instructions, program details, and eligibility requirements can be found online at For more information, please contact or 212.434.9740. Read more »

CFR's Korea Program in the News

Korea Herald: "North Koreans Increasingly Open to Outside Media" (June 20, 2012)

Global Security Newswire: "China Supporting North Korean Missile Effort: Panetta" (April 20, 2012)

Washington Times: "Chinese Mark on North Korean Military" (April 19, 2012)



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»