Full Book | Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies 2017

 

Preface

At the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), we take pride in fostering connections to advance United States-Republic of Korea ties. Through bringing together people with an interest in topics of importance to this relationship, KEI strives to further mutual understanding between our two countries. With leadership transitions in Seoul and Washington, sharing ideas now is of even greater importance. We are pleased to have our 2017 Academic Symposium, through which we endeavor to bridge the academic and policy communities, serve as a substantial contribution to issues which will play an outsized role under the new administrations.

KEI returned to the International Studies Association (ISA) conference this year to host part of our Academic Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland. The annual conference features nearly 6,000 international affairs scholars from around the world with a wide range of research interests and regional specializations to present papers and hold discussions on contemporary issues in their fields. We were pleased to contribute two panels on recent significant developments in Northeast Asia. And, for the second time as part of our Academic Symposium, KEI hosted two additional panels in our Washington, D.C. office. 

Marking five years of collaboration, KEI again turned to the skills and insights of Dr. Gilbert Rozman, the emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for this Joint U.S. - Korea Academic Studies volume and as an advisor to KEI’s programs at the ISA conference. This partnership has once more brought together an excellent group of scholars and practitioners.

The experts in this volume have thoughtfully addressed important themes that are pervasive throughout Asia and timely for the U.S.-Korea alliance. As one of the most significant challenges in the region for presidents Moon and Trump, the security threat posed by North Korea is the focus of two sections. Triangular talks among Washington, Beijing, and Seoul are a potential diplomatic approach to stabilizing the Korean Peninsula, and the first section provides perspectives from each capital about its feasibility. Authors in the final section attempt to answer if sanctions, the chief means through which the international community is pursuing North Korean denuclearization, are effectively meeting the interests of major regional powers. Successful cooperation with China on North Korea, viewed as key to resolving the nuclear issue, has proven elusive, requiring further understanding of the factors shaping foreign policy in Beijing. The second section observes how recent developments in China’s bilateral relations with regional players have been shaped by conceptions of its national identity. In the pentultimate section, the authors analyze the potential impact of new leadership in the United States and Korea on bilateral economic ties as well as the implications for regional trade integration.

Whether our connection with you is new or continuing, we hope you enjoy the 28th edition of the Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies volume and the excellent work it contains.

– The Honorable Donald Manzullo

President & CEO, Korea Economic Institute of America

July 2017

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