pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 05 – No. 06

The U.S.-ROK alliance is under unprecedented strain. Generational change, an evolving international security landscape, and the transformation of the U.S. defense posture and priorities have produced frictions in the alliance. These have been magnified by difficulties in relations with North Korea, in particular, the problems created by the latest nuclear crisis. The ninth round of the annual U.S.-ROK dialogue co-sponsored by the Pacific Forum, the Seoul-based New Asia Research Institute, and the Washington-based Korea Economic Institute-KEIP, brought together experts from the U.S., South Korea, China, and Japan to examine these issues and their regional context. They generally agreed that the alliance plays an important role in maintaining peace and security in Northeast Asia, that it is beset by problems, and that all four countries should think more expansively about regional issues. They were skeptical whether there is consensus on approaches and results that would allow them to work together.