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KEI Contributor

S. Paul Choi Headshot

S. Paul Choi

Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow
RAND Corporation

S. Paul Choi is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation's Washington office. He specializes in political-military affairs, Indo-Pacific security, strategy design, alliance management, and deterrence. Mr. Choi is also the Principal (on sabbatical 2022-23) at StratWays Group, a geopolitical risk advisory in Seoul. In this capacity, he provides counsel to government agencies, think tanks, investment banks, and businesses.

Previously, Mr. Choi worked as a Strategist and International Relations Specialist at the United Nations Command/Republic of Korea (ROK)-US Combined Forces Command/US Forces Korea – in both the Commander's Strategic Initiatives Group and in the Directorate for Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Strategic Communications (2013-18). During this time, he assisted in the establishment of the ROK-US Deterrence Strategy Committee, the alliance’s Tailored Deterrence Strategy, and various bilateral operational plans. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security (2020), Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations (2011-13), Visiting Scholar at Fudan University (2011), and Faculty Lecturer/ROK Army Officer at the Korea Military Academy (2007-10).

Mr. Choi actively engages in track 1.5 dialogues and is a regular speaker at academic and policy institutions around the world. He has provided commentary for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, Bloomberg, Financial Times, National Public Radio, Der Spiegel, Voice of America (in Korean), and JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). His published analyses include "The Risks of Limited Nuclear War in the Indo-Pacific," in Bridging Asian and European Perspectives on Deterrence. Markus Garlauskus (ed). Atlantic Council (forthcoming, April 2023); “Managing Competition: Arms Limitations and Beyond,” in Enhancing the Northeast Asia Regional Security Eco-System: Issues and Approaches. Megan Dubois, Ankit Panda, and Toby Dalton (eds). Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. May 05, 2022; “The Limits of Operational Integration,” in Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century. Stephen Fruhling and Andrew O’Neil (eds). Australia National University Press, December 2021; “Deterring North Korea: The Need for Collective Resolve and Alliance Transformation,” 38 North, Stimson Center, July 2020; “Don’t Lose Sight of Changes to South Korea’s Defense Posture,” The Diplomat, November 2019; and “Defense in Support of Diplomacy: Re-designing the ROK-U.S. Deterrence Posture,” Asia Unbound, Council on Foreign Relations, June 2019.

Mr. Choi is a PhD candidate in the War Studies Department at King's College London, has an MA in International Cooperation from Seoul National University GSIS, and has a BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.


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KEI’S SPECIAL PROJECT ON THE SOUTH KOREAN NUCLEAR ARMAMENT DEBATE South Korea’s nuclear armament debate received renewed attention in 2023. But, this issue is one that has animated Korean politics,…

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Region: Asia

This piece is one of 12 contributions to KEI’s special project on South Korea’s nuclear armament debate that will run on The Peninsula blog over the next month. The project’s contributors include young, emerging, and mid-career voices, examining the debate from a historical, a domestic, and an international perspective. On Wednesday, March 15, KEI will host…

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March 14, 2023






























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February 14, 2023