The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK-South Korea) have strengthened their bilateral relationship and are building more sophisticated regional and global networks in trade, finance and politics. North Korea, however, remains outside this wave of development and integration, and poses significant challenges to the U.S., South Korea and its neighbors.
On June 13, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at Brookings hosted the fifth annual Seoul-Washington Forum. Leading experts from the ROK and the U.S. addressed the strategies that South Korea and the United States undertook as they pursue further economic development and increased bilateral relations. Panelists also discussed how the two countries and the international community will face the perennial challenges posed by North Korea.
Following welcoming remarks from Korea Foundation Executive Vice President Hahn Younghee, the Hon. Hwang Jin Ha, a member of the Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Unification committee and vice chairman of the Intelligence committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, gave a keynote address on the ROK’s policy toward North Korea. The following panel discussion featured commentary from leading Korean and American experts on international governance, economic relations and strategy, and approaches to North Korea. Senior Fellow Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, moderated the discussion. After the program, the speakers took audience questions.
Professor of Political Science and International Relations - Seoul National University
Visiting Professor - Georgetown University
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Professor of Practice of International Affairs - Elliott School of George Washington University
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At the time [in the mid-1970s], [North Korea] wasn't doing so badly. After the Korean War, their economy was rebuilt, it became a functioning industrial state, still very aid-dependent — but it wouldn't have seemed like such a bad bet, under the circumstances.