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Council on Foreign Relations Korea Update
October 2012

Asia's Space Race

Ahead of South Korea's third satellite launch, James Clay Moltz of the Naval Postgraduate School analyzes the challenges and prospects for South Korea's space program.

Despite major investments in space technology, South Korea is still waiting for a breakthrough in its efforts to launch a satellite into orbit. Struggling against structural obstacles related to its late entry into space technology and exploration, the ROK needs to invest a higher percent of its resources if it hopes to reach a comfortable position amongst Asia's larger and more established space powers. Read the Report ยป


Global Korea: Contributing to International Security

Going Global in Security

South Korea has built an impressive and multifaceted set of peacekeeping, counterpiracy, reconstruction, and counterproliferation capabilities that enables it to make significant contributions to international stability and emerge as a global player. In the new ebook Global Korea: South Korea's Contributions to International Security, CFR Senior Fellow for Korea Studies Scott A. Snyder, Scott Bruce of CRDF Global's Partnership for Nuclear Security, doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics John Hemmings, Georgetown University visiting professor Balbina Hwang, and director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group at the U.S. Naval War College Terence Roehrig analyzes South Korea's increased participation in international security cooperation. Read the Report »

Championing Counterpiracy and Counterproliferation

The Lee Myung-bak administration has effectively reframed South Korea's growing international responsibilities, and it is now emerging as a significant leader in international counterpiracy and counterproliferation efforts, say Snyder, Bruce, and Roehrig, discussing Global Korea at the Korea Society. Watch the Video »

Producing Security Resources

South Korea has transitioned from being a consumer to a producer of security resources, says Snyder, discussing South Korea's expanding role in international peacekeeping and counterpiracy operations, along with Hwang and Roehrig. Listen to the Audio »

Exporting More Than Gangnam Style

Despite persistent provocations from North Korea, South Korea has succeeded in becoming an exporter of international security and a source of global economic stability. The ROK has proved to be one of the few non-European countries with the capacity and will to assume new international security roles, says CFR Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program Stewart M. Patrick in a review of Global Korea. Read the post on the Internationalist »

South Korea: A New Chapter

Shifting Public Opinion Must Be Managed

Recent American and South Korean public opinion surveys show strong support for the U.S.-ROK alliance following presidential elections in both countries. Such support will be an asset as both countries face possible leadership transitions, argues Snyder. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Ahn Chul-soo Faces a Dilemma

When independent candidate Ahn Chul-soo formally announced his bid for the South Korean presidency, he swore to transform South Korea's existing political culture. However, the absence of a political organization as a support base will make it difficult for him to mobilize voters and win a bid for national office. To fulfill his pledge of transforming South Korean political culture, Ahn will need supporters to rally under his leadership to create a new political support base, rather than join an existing party, argues Snyder. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Tension on the Korean Peninsula

North Korea on the Offensive

North Korea's strong condemnation of the recent revision to U.S.-ROK missile guidelines reveals Pyongyang's sensitivity to U.S. support of South Korean missile capability development. It also demonstrates North Korean reluctance to accept South Korea, rather than the United States, as its main partner in managing inter-Korean security and stability, argues Snyder. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Predicting North Korea's Next Move

Recent forays of North Korean fishing vessels across the disputed Northern Limit Line and DPRK Vice Minister Park Kil-yon's statement that a "spark" could set off nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula have renewed speculation over an impending North Korean provocation. Outlining four schools of thought regarding North Korea's next moves, Snyder says that whatever the provocation, a strong South Korea response is certain. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Asia's Underground Railroad

Escaping the Brutal North Korean Regime

Melanie Kirkpatrick's Escape from North Korea describes the tortuous path North Koreans must undertake across China to freedom in South Korea and other countries in the West. However, despite the growing record of personal testimonies regarding the brutality of North Korean totalitarianism, there has not been effective international pressure to hold North Korea accountable for egregious injustices, argues Snyder. Read the Post of Asia Unbound »

CFR's Korea Program in the News

AFP: "Strong U.S., S. Korea Support for Alliance: Polls" (October 15, 2012)

The Korea Herald: "Seoul Regains Foothold For Bigger Role In World Security" (October 10, 2012)

Korea Times: "North Korea Slams Missile Range Extension" (October 9, 2012)

Korea Times: "Speculation Rises on North Korean Acts" (October 3, 2012)

Al Jazeera: "Korean Propaganda Soars With Balloons" (September 29, 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


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