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Council on Foreign Relations Korea Update
November 2012

South Koreans' Distrust of China

Han Suk-hee, associate professor of China studies in the graduate school of international studies at Yonsei University, analyzes South Korean public opinion and the strategic dilemma the country faces between China and the United States.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary since South Korea and China normalized diplomatic relations. Driven by expanding bilateral economic cooperation, the two states have advanced their political, economic, diplomatic, and cultural relations with unprecedented speed and scope. However, underneath the surface of this relationship is an increase in South Korea's negative perceptions of China. According to a joint survey conducted by the East Asia Institute-Asia Research Institute, while South Koreans acknowledge the importance of building and maintaining positive relations with China, South Koreans feel apprehensive about China's growing influence. Read the Report »


U.S.-ROK Alliance

Security Consultative Meeting Signals Continued Progress

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and ROK Minister of Defense Kim Kwan-jin met on October 24 for the forty-fourth annual U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Meeting. The communiqué issued from this session reaffirms the provisions agreed to in the Joint Vision Statement and show the close coordination and expanded cooperation between the United States and the ROK on global security issues, says CFR Senior Fellow for Korea Studies Scott A. Snyder. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

U.S. Policy Toward Asia

Daunting Challenges Ahead for the United States

Four current and former assistant secretaries of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs gathered to discuss U.S. policy toward Asia at an event hosted by Georgetown University. Snyder shares his takeaways from the discussion, noting the panel's consensus in favor of the U.S. rebalancing strategy toward Asia and the challenge that China's internal situation poses for the region. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Security Cooperation in East Asia

Building a Regional Security Architecture

Broadened Sino-Japanese and Sino-American strategic understanding regarding the purpose of collective security cooperation and a defined relationship between East Asia and Northeast Asian cooperative security approaches are required to build a regional security architecture. Until then multilateral security cooperation in East Asia is likely to be fragmented, ad hoc, and issue-driven, argues Snyder in his chapter in Korea and East Asia: The Stony Road to Collective Security, edited by Rudiger Frank and John Swenson-Wright. Read the Book »

Green Growth

On a Mission to Prove Green Growth

The success of the Global Green Growth Institute, a new international organization dedicated to changing the way countries grow economically, depends on its ability to effectively address developing countries' institutional and technical shortcomings. If successful, it could revolutionize international economic development efforts, says University of Nebraska–Omaha adjunct lecturer Jill O'Donnell. Read the Report »

Global Korea: Contributing to International Security

South Korea Emerges as a Global Player

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, 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 »

South Korea's Navy on the Rise

In light of South Korea's recent announcement to resume the expansion of its ocean-going blue water fleet, Roehrig argues that South Korea's participation in counterpiracy operations and the Counter Task Force-151 demonstrates the country's increasing naval capability and interest in playing an important role in global security. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Counterproliferation Efforts a Test for 'Global Korea' Policy

South Korea's counter- and nonproliferation efforts have traditionally been driven by the U.S.-ROK security alliance and the threat of North Korea. However, today, South Korea is driving nuclear security issues that go beyond the Korean Peninsula through its role as a champion of export controls and the standards for nuclear security it can set as it emerges as an exporter of nuclear energy technology, says Bruce. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

Uncertain Future for ROK's Stabilization Activities Overseas

South Korea's stabilization effort in Afghanistan has been arguably one of the great successes of recent ROK overseas policy; however, it is unclear whether the next administration will seek to maintain South Korea's stabilization and reconstruction activities. Much will depend on how South Koreans view the net gain of such operations, says Hemmings. Read the Post on Asia Unbound »

CFR's Korea Program in the News

Korea Herald: "Uncertainty Looms Over Sino-American Rivalry" (November 19, 2012)

Yonhap: "Nuclear N.Korea Not Able to Improve Economically" (November 14, 2012)

Yonhap: "S.Korea's Next Leader Unlikely to 'Walk Away' From Green Growth" (November 8, 2012)

Korea Herald: "Korea Needs More Than Gangnam Style to Go Global" (November 8, 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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