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Full Book | Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies 2018
Published August 13, 2018
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At the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), we foster connections to advance United States-Republic of Korea ties. Through bringing together people with an interest in topics of importance to this relationship, KEI works to further mutual understanding between our two countries. With a whirlwind of new developments in the region, sharing ideas now is of even greater importance. Our 2018 Academic Symposium, through which we endeavor to bridge the academic and policy communities, contributes to understanding crucial questions in the Asia-Pacific.

KEI held parts of our Academic Symposium at two conferences this year for the first time. We were pleased to return to the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference for two panels in San Francisco, California. The conference featured over 6,000 international affairs scholars from around the world with a wide range of research interests and regional specializations to present papers and hold discussions on contemporary issues. We were also pleased to contribute a panel presentation to the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Washington D.C., which included nearly 4,000 researchers from various disciplines focusing on Asia throughout history. And, for the third year as part of our Academic Symposium, KEI hosted a fourth panel in our own conference room.

Marking seven years of collaboration, KEI again turned to the skills and insights of Dr. Gilbert Rozman, the emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for this Joint U.S. – Korea Academic Studies volume and as an advisor to KEI’s programs at the ISA and AAS conferences. This partnership has once more brought together an excellent group of scholars and practitioners.

The experts in this volume have thoughtfully addressed themes that are pervasive throughout Asia and are timely for the U.S.-Korea alliance. South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017 with ambitious plans for diplomatic initiatives, but faced challenges from both home and abroad in implementing them. How President Moon has pursued his foreign policy options so far is explored in the first section. As China looks ahead to playing a larger role in region, the second section reminds us of how Beijing’s past relationships on the Korean Peninsula play a pivotal role in its outlook towards Seoul and Pyongyang. The penultimate section examines how key regional stakeholders are seeking to advance their trade interests in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s break with international economic policy norms. In the final section, the authors attempt to make sense of North Korea’s outreach in 2018 by each analyzing its possible strategies. Whether our connection with you is new or continuing, we hope you enjoy the 29th edition of the Joint U.S.-Korea Academic Studies volume.

Mark Tokola

Acting President, Korea Economic Institute of America

July 2018

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