***Enhancing the Partnership Between Korea and the United States in the 21st Century***

Jan. 6-8 at the East West Center.

Twenty specialists from South Korea and the United States will participate, including North Korea experts Victor D. Cha, chair of the D.S. Song-Korea Foundation at Georgetown University; Hong Koo Lee, chair of the Seoul Forum for International Affairs and a former South Korean prime minister and ambassador to the United States; Young Shik Yang, a professor at Korea University and former deputy minister of unification; and Jang Jip Choi and Sang Jin Han, the former and current chairs respectively of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning. The conference also kicks off the centennial celebration of Korean immigration to the United States.

A full list of participants and the conference schedule is included at the bottom of this report.

Needs To Give More Importance to the Relationship

HONOLULU (Jan. 3) -- At a time when U.S.-South Korean relations are greatly troubled by nuclear developments in the North, a pro-unification president-elect in the South, and growing anti-Americanism, the United States needs to develop a partnership that moves beyond security and confirms the importance of South Korea to Washington, an East-West Center specialist said.

If the United States and South Korea have significant differences in their approach to Pyongyang, or if Washington pursues its own policy, "they cannot solve the nuclear problem," said Choong Nam Kim, who focuses on U.S.-North Korean affairs and U.S.-Korean relations.

"It's important to change the attitude that the U.S. is imposing its will," he said, stressing that the United States must raise the importance of the relationship and be consistent in its policies toward South Korea.

"We need a developmental partnership," he said, noting that a few decades ago South Korea was as underdeveloped and destroyed as Afghanistan. "The South succeeded in modernization with support of the United States. South Korean success is Korean and American success."

He suggested cooperation and partnership between the two countries in helping develop other nations. "The partnership with South Korea would be a good example...We have to shift the focus (beyond security) and make South Korean people confident and proud. Otherwise there is no solution."

Kim said anti-U.S. feelings have reached further than ever before as new generations that escaped the Korean War and past economic hardships grow in number and unification becomes the priority over security. "For them nationalism means unification through rapprochement with North Korea. For them the Korean nation takes priority, not the (U.S. security) alliance.

"When Pyongyang emphasizes unification and South-North cooperation and criticizes American policy, more and more South Koreans support the North rather than their U.S. ally."

Kim said recent governments have failed to educate young South Koreans about contemporary history and U.S. support in developing their country, and young Koreans blame the United States for separating North and South and for undermining inter-Korean cooperation. In a recent survey of global attitudes by the Pew Research Center for The People and The Press, South Koreans held the second highest unfavorable attitude toward the United States among Asian countries next to Bangladesh.

The new Seoul government has "a nationalistic position, which reflects many South Korean people. They announce every movement and the young people applaud. It makes it more and more difficult to communicate with Washington."

Kim said U.S. options in dealing with North Korea are limited and a U.S. military strike is too dangerous. The South Korean president-elect wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis, not a military one. The United States needs to come up with a new idea "that shows understanding of the Korean sentiment."

Choong Nam Kim can be reached at 808-944-7372 or kimc@EastWestCenter.org


1. Jang Jip CHOI, Director, The Asiatic Research Center, Korea University (former Chairman of Presidential Commission on Policy Planning)

2. Joo Taek CHUNG, Hansung University, Dean of Graduate School of Public Administration

3. Sang Jin HAN, Chairman of Presidential Commission on Policy Planning

4. In-Taek HYUN, Korea University, Department of Political Science & International Relations

5. Chang Young JUNG, Yonsei University, Department of Economics

6. Ho Jin KIM, Korea University, Department of Public Administration

7. Jin-Hyun KIM, Korea International Trade Association

8. Hong Koo LEE, Chairman, The Seoul Forum for International Affairs (former Prime Minister, former Ambassador to U.S.)

9. Jong Chan LEE, Chairman, the Centennial Committee of Korean Immigration to the U.S. (former Director of National Intelligence Service)

10. Se-Il PARK, Seoul National University, The School of International and Area Studies

11. Young Shik YANG, Korea University (former Deputy Minister of Unification)

U.S. Participants:

1. Victor D. CHA, Georgetown University, Chairman, D.S. Song-Korea Foundation School of Foreign Service

2. John B. DUNCAN, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

3. Carter J. ECKERT, Harvard University, Korea Institute

4. Lawrence KRAUSE, University of California, San Diego, International Relations & Pacific Studies

5. David R. McCANN, Harvard University, Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations

6. James B. PALAIS, University of Washington, The Jackson School of International Studies

7. Hugh T. PATRICK, Columbia University, School of Business

East-West Center Participants:

1. Charles E. Morrison, President

2. Lee-Jay Cho, Senior Advisor to the President

3. Choong Nam Kim, POSCO Fellowship Programs Coordinator University of Hawaii-Manoa

4. Edward J. Shultz, Director, Center for Korean Studies


Asia Room, Imin Center, East-West Center


PANEL 1: The Partnership Between Korea and the United States: A History

Moderator: Edward J. Shultz Discussant: Choong Nam Kim

09:30–10:30 a.m. Hong Koo Lee: The Korean Perspective

James Palais: The U.S. Perspective

10:30-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break (Rahman Room)

11:00-12:00 noon Discussion

12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch

PANEL 2: The Partnership Between Korea and the United States: The Future

Moderator: Lee-Jay Cho Discussant: Jin-Hyun Kim

2:00-3:00 p.m. Jang Jip Choi: The Korean Perspective

Carter Eckert: The U.S. Perspective

3:00-3:30 p.m. Coffee Break (Rahman Room)

3:30-4:30 p.m. Discussion


Panel 3: U.S.-Korea Security Relations

Moderator: Charles Morrison Discussant: Young Shik Yang

9:00 –10:00 a.m. In-Taek Hyun: A Korean Perspective

Victor Cha: A U.S. Perspective

10:00-10:30 a.m. Coffee Break (Rahman Room)

10:30-11:30 a.m. Discussion

11:30-Noon: Participants Meet With Press


PANEL 4: The Partnership Between Korea and the United States: The New Economy

Moderator: Chung H. Lee Discussant: Hugh Patrick

9:00-10:00 a.m. Chang Young Jung: The Korean Perspective

Lawrence Krause: The U.S. Perspective

10:00-10:30 a.m. Coffee Break

10:30-11:30 p.m. Discussion

PANEL 5: The Partnership Between Korea and the United States: A Cultural Perspective

Moderator: Yong-Ho Choe Discussants: John Duncan and Se-il Park

1:00-2:00 p.m. Sang Jin Han: A Korean Perspective

David McCann: A U.S. Perspective

2:00-2:30 p.m. Coffee Break

2:30-3:30 p.m. Discussion

PANEL 6: General Discussion

Moderator: Lawrence Krause

3:30-5:30 p.m. Open Discussion

The East-West Wire is a news service provided by the East-West Center in Honolulu. Any or all of this report may be used with attribution to the East-West Center or to the person quoted.

For more information, contact Susan Kreifels at 808-944-7176 or EastWestWire@EastWestCenter.org

For a directory to all East-West Wire reports, see http://www.eastwestcenter.org/events-en.asp 

For daily news on the Pacific Islands, see http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/text.htm 

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