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Strengthening ROK-US Critical Technologies Cooperation: Progress and Path Forward


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Pacific Forum is grateful to the experts and practitioners for participating in the US-ROK Science and Tech Collaboration in Critical Technologies Dialogue (2022) supported by the Republic of Korea (ROK) Consulate-General of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. This publication was made possible by the Center for Security Policy Studies, George Mason University Korea.

Table of Contents

About the Authors VI

Introduction: The US-South Korea Relations: Strengthening Science and Tech Collaboration Amid Turbulent Times –
Mark Bryan Manantan and Soyoung Kwon, PhD

The US-ROK alliance: Past, Present, and Future – Soyoung Kwon, PhD

The Geopolitics of Semiconductor Cooperation among the United States, South Korea and China – Sungmin Cho, PhD

Industrial Policy and Uncertainties in US-ROK Cooperation in Semiconductors: The US Chips & Science Act Subsidy Conditions and Guardrails – June Park, PhD

5G/6G, Cybersecurity and US-South Korea Cooperation – Lami Kim, PhD

US-South Korea AI Cooperation: Opportunities, Challenges, and Prospects – Alexandra Seymour

From creating trustworthy robotic partners to establishing trustworthy US-ROK partnerships in robotics – Boyoung Kim, PhD

Choke, Collaborate, and Coordinate: Countering 46 North Korea’s Cybercrime Threats – Mark Bryan Manantan

Concluding Remarks

About the Authors

Soyoung Kwon, PhD – E D I T O R

Dr. Soyoung Kwon is Associate Professor of Global affairs and Director of Security Policy Studies Korea at George Mason University. Prior to joining George Mason University Korea, she taught at Graduate School of International Studies at Kyung Hee University, Chunbuk National University, and Yonsei University. She began her academic career as a research associate fellow at the East Asia Institute of Cambridge University and a Shorenstein fellow at the Asia Pacific Research Center of Stanford University. Dr. Kwon then moved on to the government and policy sectors to serve as a spokesperson for foreign correspondents at the Ministry of Unification of Republic of Korea and as a Korea specialist and advisor on the EU-Korea relations at the European Parliament in Brussels. Dr. Kwon holds a B.A. in political science and diplomacy from Ewha Woman’s University and a M.Phil and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Sungmin Cho, PhD

Dr. Sungmin Cho is a professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), an academic institute of the US Department of Defense. His area of expertise covers US-China competition, Chinese politics, and the geopolitics of Northeast Asia. Dr. Cho has published articles in peer- reviewed journals, including World Politics, Journal of Contemporary China, The China Journal, Asian Security, Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, and Korea Observer. His policy analysis also appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, and War on the Rocks. Dr. Cho contributed commentaries at the invitations of CSIS, Brookings and other think tanks. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Cho served in the Korean Army as an intelligence officer for three years, including a seven-month deployment to Iraq. He earned Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, M.A. in International Relations from Peking University, and B.A. in Political Science from Korea University.

June Park, PhD

Dr. June Park is a political economist (PhD in Political Science, Boston University, 2015) working on the geoeconomics of conflict in the digital economy, observing East Asia, the US, Europe and the Gulf. She focuses on trade, energy and tech conflicts among nation states as they navigate their distinctive paths into the digital future. Her current work pertains to geoeconomic conflicts in emerging technology, i.e., semiconductors, EVs/ batteries, digital currencies and AI. She is an inaugural Asia Fellow of the International Strategy Forum at Schmidt Futures, finalizing her first book manuscript, DIGITAL TRADE WARS & CURRENCY CONFLICT: China, South Korea and Japan’s Responses to US Protectionism since COVID-19, and an external expert for the Center on East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP) of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. She served as a 2021-2022 Fung Global Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton University.

Lami Kim, PhD

Dr. Lami Kim is Professor at Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and an adjunct fellow at Pacific Forum. Her research interests include the intersection between civil and military uses of nuclear energy, China’s nonproliferation and nuclear export policy, and politics and security on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia. Previously, Lami served as a South Korean diplomat and a research fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, Pacific Forum, Stimson Center and Seoul National University Asia Center. She has taught at Harvard University and Boston College. Her works have been published in The Washington Quarterly, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Diplomat, PacNet, and Stimson Center, among others. Lami holds a master’s and PhD in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University.

Alexandra Seymour

Alexandra Seymour was previously an Associate Fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her work focused on artificial intelligence (AI), defense innovation, semiconductors, 5G/6G, and workforce issues. Prior, Seymour was Chief of Staff at CalypsoAI, an AI security startup. She also served in the Pentagon as Speechwriter to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and in OSD(Policy), as well as on the National Security Council. Seymour’s analysis and commentary have appeared in publications such as The Financial Times, BBC News, WIRED, USA Today, The Hill, DefenseScoop, The Diplomat, RealClearPolicy, National Journal, South China Morning Post, and Voice of America, and she has made media appearances on CBS News and NewsNation, among other outlets. Seymour is also a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University.

Boyoung Kim, PhD

Dr. Boyoung Kim is a research professor at the Center for Security Policy Studies-Korea, George Mason University Korea. Dr. Kim’s research background is in cognitive and social psychology, with the main focus on moral judgments and decision-making. In her interdisciplinary work, she investigates ethical issues related to the advancement and application of emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, social robots, and autonomous vehicles. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the United States Air Force Academy’s Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center and George Mason University’s Department of Psychology. Dr. Kim received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Brown University, a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Intensive Program from Korea University.

Mark Bryan Manantan – E D I T O R

Mark Bryan Manantan is the Director of Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies at the Pacific Forum. At the Forum, he currently leads the Cyber ASEAN initiative, and the US Cyber, Technology, and Security partnerships with Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and South Korea. Mr. Manantan is also a non-resident fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, and formerly a research consultant at the Asia Society Policy Institute, Washington, DC. He has held visiting fellowships at the Japan Foundation, the Center for Rule-Making Strategies at Tama University in Tokyo, Japan, and the East-West Center, Washington, DC. Prior to that, he was a media, public relations, and advertising executive for Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, and UNICEF.