About the Korea Economic Institute (KEI)
One of KEI's most important missions is to broaden and deepen understanding among Americans about developments in Korea and the value of the U.S.-Korea relationship. Through its publications, outreach programs, and website, KEI offers access to current information and analysis about issues that affect the bilateral relationship and Korea. By exploring this ever changing website, you will become acquainted with the essence and mission of a unique organization and learn more about the significance of the U.S.-Korea partnership. One of the more exciting developments at KEI in recent times was the launching of Korean Kontext, a podcast series. KEI encourages those interested in Korea to subscribe to it. Through subscribing you will be treated to fascinating interviews on a wide range of topics related to the Koreas. Released every month, previous episodes have featured a wide range of personalities, academics, and professionals whose work all involves the Koreas. Some of the more notable names include actor Daniel Dae-Kim, Trade Minister Bark Tae-ho, President of Arirang TV Sohn Ji-ae and long-time North Korea watcher, Dr. Andrei Lankov.
While 2010 marked the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the world was also reminded on two tragic instances that tensions on the Korean peninsula can flair without warning. On March 26, 2010 North Korea sank the South Korean Corvette, Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. Then on November 23, 2010, North Korean artillery fired upon the South Korean island, Yeonpyeong, killing four, including two civilians. South Korea and the United States stood together in those troubling times just as they have since the Armistice was signed in 1953. It was an important reminder that the modern U.S.-Korea relationship was forged as a result of a common commitment to preserve freedom that was threatened by the Korean War. The security relationship that developed as a result of the conflict has served both the United States and South Korea well. During the Vietnam War, South Korea provided military support to the United States and has time and again risen to the occasion in support of the alliances’ common goals throughout the world. During the Iraq war, Korea provided the third largest contingent to the multinational efforts in Iraq. Korea has also supported U.S. efforts to address piracy off the Horn of Africa. And in 2010, Korea proved several hundred troops for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The U.S. and South Korea continue to work closely on a range of security related issues around the globe.
On February 2, 2006 the United States and South Korea announced their intention to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). After more than a year of negotiations the two sides reached an agreement in early April 2007, which was signed in Washington on June 30, 2007. Final passage of the agreement was delayed due to disputes over issues related to trade in beef and autos, but Presidents Lee and Obama reiterated their commitment to seeing the agreement implemented and announced steps to move forward during the G-20 meeting in Toronto in June 2010. After reaching a final agreement on issues of concern in December 2010, the United States Congress passed the KORUS FTA in October of 2011 during President Lee’s visit to the United States. The Korean National Assembly also passed the agreement later that year. The KORUS FTA entered into effect on March 15, 2012.
The two governments in the U.S. and Korea have demonstrated a genuine respect and partnership which is reflected in the many meetings that have taken place in recent years. The effort by both governments to improve the relationship has been deliberate and has already begun to pay dividends. Seoul successfully hosted the G-20 Summit in November 2010, 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effective in Busan in 2011, and the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in March 2012. In addition to these large events, President Lee Myung-bak took part in a state visit to the U.S. in October 2011.The hosting of international meetings as well as the state visit showcased the growth of U.S.-Korea partnership.
KEI boasts a state of the art multimedia suite and many KEI events are video-taped and available for viewing on the website in the new video section. If you cannot attend an event, be sure to check the site afterwards for recordings of programs. On occasion KEI also livestreams major programs, with notifications posted on the website beforehand.
KEI is proud of the huge success of the Academic Paper Series. The first six volumes of On Korea,the compilation of the Academic papers commissioned by authors throughout the world, have a diverse and unique set of topics that you will find quite interesting. On Korea is rapidly becoming required reading in many university programs. Another special project that KEI commends to you is the recently published book, Ambassadors’ Memoir: U.S.-Korea Relations through the eyes of the Ambassadors.
Eleven U.S. and Korean Ambassadors serving in Seoul and Washington recorded their thoughts about the issues they faced during their tenure. It is a unique snapshot on U.S.-Korea relations from an ambassador’s perspective. It was translated into Korean last year and updated with the addition of two new chapters by ambassadors who were not able to contribute to the first edition. A second English edition will be released in the near future. In 2011, KEI’s flagship publication, Korea’s Economy, was enhanced with the introduction of new, short commentaries by prominent experts and former senior officials like former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, Dr. Fred Bergsten, Dr. Sakong Il and Former Prime Minister Han, Seung-soo.
KEI is a not-for-profit, educational organization affiliated with the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a public policy research institute located in Seoul and funded by the South Korean government.
The Korea Economic Institute of America is registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, a public corporation established by the Government of the Republic of Korea. This material is filed with the Department of Justice, where the required registration statement is available for public inspection.
Registration does not indicate U.S. government approval of the contents of this document. KEI is not engaged in the practice of law, does not render legal services, and is not a lobbying organization.