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South Korea's Triangular Relations

The discussion at the AAS meetings on March 29, 2014 included not only the four authors, but also Thomas Christensen, moderator, and Evans Revere, presenter on the Sino-ROK-U.S. triangle. It came within days of the trilateral summit that boosted Japan-ROK-U.S. relations. In the background was concern raised by Russians in the past few weeks about the implications of the Ukraine crisis for Sino-Russian ties and the triangle linking them to the Korean Peninsula. The timing was propitious for a wide-ranging assessment of triangular security involving South Korea, not least due to President Park Geun-hye’s Northeast Asia Peace and Security Initiative, which aims to transform international relations in the region. As President Barack Obama prepared to travel to Tokyo and Seoul on the first legs of his spring trip to Asia, there was more direct criticism of China by high U.S. officials accompanying more tangible support for Japan and in response to more vigorous China’s efforts to portray Japan as a militarist state trying to contain it. The Sino-Japan-U.S. triangle is not the object of our analysis here, but its shadow extends to all four of the triangles we examine. A synopsis of the discussion was posted on in May 2014.

This section contains the following chapters:

Preface by the Honorable Donald Manzullo, President & CEO of KEI

Introduction by Editor-in-Chief Gilbert Rozman

Japan-South Korea-U.S. Relations
Sue Mi Terry, Columbia University

The Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo Triangle: Terra-centric Nordpolitik vs. Oceanic Realpolitik
Sung-Yoon Lee, Tufts University

China-South Korea-U.S. Relations
Gilbert Rozman, Princeton University

Russia, China, and the Korean Peninsula
Alexander Lukin, Russian Foreign Ministry and Valery Denisov, MGIMO University

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