Supporters of the U.S.-ROK alliance celebrated the June 16, 2009 summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Lee Myung Bak as a pointed affirmation of the two countries’ strengthened ties and a continuing commitment to their bilateral security alliance. The meeting yielded a Joint Vision that will guide the security alliance “to ensure a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the Korean Peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world.” While most commentary has focused on this forward-leaning statement, considerable attention has also been devoted to the statement’s mention of “the continuing commitment of extended deterrence, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella.” In coverage of the summit, South Korean media highlighted this clause, underscoring doubts that appear to be creeping into Korean thinking about the U.S. commitment to the ROK’s defense.
Download the Korean version of Issues & Insights Vol. 09 – No. 18