Volatility and Opportunity in 2011
Last year was a momentous year for the Korean Peninsula. As the world worked its way out of the global and financial crisis of 2008-2009, South Korea demonstrated its global leadership at the Seoul G-20 Summit. The work that went into the preparations and execution of the G-20 summit showcased Korea’s growing economic prowess and its potential to be a major player in reformulating the financial underpinnings of the global economy.
The year also reminded us of the persistent uncertainty surrounding North Korea’s future and the fragility of the peninsula’s stability. Looking ahead, despite recent calls by both Korean governments for a reduction in tensions, Pyongyang’s brinkmanship will likely carry on in the coming year. Meanwhile, the international community’s frustration with Beijing will continue to run high as China remains deeply divided with the U.S., South Korea and Japan over how to respond to North Korea’s provocations. One silver lining for a potentially volatile year ahead is the steady strengthening of the U.S.-Korea relationship and the emerging security situation building momentum for the ratification of the much anticipated U.S.-Korea free trade agreement.