March 2, 2001
On the surface, U.S.-ROK relations have seldom seemed better. Last fall’s contentious issues — negotiations over revisions to the Status of Forces Agreement and over ROK missile development plans — were settled amicably. The new Bush administration has firmly endorsed the ROK-U.S. alliance. ROK President Kim Dae-jung is expected to be the first Asian leader to visit Bush in Washington, on March 7. (Japanese Prime Minister Mori was invited to come a few days earlier but apparently can’t make the trip.) In addition, the administration has pledged its support for President Kim’s North-South reconciliation effort and promised to continue its own dialogue with Pyongyang.