Diplomacy or Readiness: Terence Roehrig
International observers were shocked when President Trump met with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018. But amid the spectacle of these two leaders putting aside their infamous barbs and insults, there was another shock awaiting the public. President Trump announced that joint military exercises with South Korea would be postponed on account of their costliness and their unnecessarily provocative nature. This had not been consulted with South Korea beforehand.
That was 2018 when people thought perhaps a peace treaty with North Korea was just around the corner. Two years on, there is no treaty, North Korea has not budged on its nuclear weapons arsenal, and in fact Pyongyang is beginning to act more provocatively. And yet, the old joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States have not resumed.
Would the forces be ready in case there is a conflict? This is the question that our guest, Professor Terence Roehrig seeks to answer today. He is a professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and recently authored a paper for KEI titled: “ROK-U.S. Exercises and Denuclearizing North Korea: Diplomacy or Readiness?” which you can find here: http://www.keia.org/sites/default/files/publications/kei_aps_2020_roehrig_200422.pdf
The episode today is from a web discussion between Professor Roehrig and KEI’s Director of Academic Affairs Kyle Ferrier.
You can also RSVP for our upcoming discussion with Andray Abrahamian on Tuesday, May 19 on how we might be able to better understand developments in North Korea here: https://share.hsforms.com/1NMB8QG0YSS-TpoEnz6d0FQ2ztzy
And RSVP for the panel discussion on Thursday, May 21 featuring former U.S. ambassador to Seoul Mark Lippert on the implications of ESPN broadcasting Korean baseball in the United States here: https://share.hsforms.com/13tmr1-R2Qtiz3XFvIcm1cg2ztzy