Given growing security and economic challenges, the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) carries more significance than ever. Not only is South Korea a prominent regional and international power in its own right, it is also a major trading partner and military ally of the United States. As economic and strategic partners, Washington and Seoul face ever-growing critical challenges in Asia and around the world.
On April 16, leading experts from South Korea and the United States addressed these issues during the third annual Seoul-Washington Forum at the Brookings Institution. The Forum featured discussions on economic relations between the two countries, including the stalled KORUS Free Trade Agreement and efforts to confront the global economic crisis; North Korea and its continuing challenge to regional security; and the overall future of the U.S.-ROK alliance, including possible cooperation outside Northeast Asia.
Following welcoming remarks by Korea Foundation President Yim Sung-joon, the panel discussion featured Chun Chaesung and Bark Taeho of Seoul National University; Choi Kang of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security and Victor Cha, former director of Asian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council. Brookings Senior Fellow Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the panel, the speakers took audience questions.