The U.S.–South Korea relationship is one of enduring friendship and mutual respect, but is nonetheless challenged by events, especially those involving North Korea. As the October 16 summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and ROK President Park Geun-hye approaches, security, regional diplomacy, and crisis management will likely be at the forefront of discussions. Chief among issues to be raised will be South Korea’s continuing tensions with North Korea following the severe wounding of several of its soldiers by suspected North Korean mines, and reports of increased North Korean uranium mining and enrichment capacity. The contribution of the Trans Pacific Partnership to stimulating growth is also likely to figure in the leaders’ discussions, especially in the wake of regional and global economic slowdown. 

Hyun Hong-choo and Choi Young-jin joined Evans Revere and Carnegie’s Douglas H. Paal to discuss the U.S.–ROK relationship and what future challenges lie in wait. Han Sung-joo and Ahn Ho-Young gave opening remarks.

This event was co-sponsored by the Korean-American Association and followed by a light reception. 

Han Sung-joo

Han Sung-joo is chairman of the Korean–American Association and the International Policy Studies Institute of Korea. He previously served as minister of foreign affairs for the Republic of Korea, and Korean ambassador to the United States.

Ahn Ho-Young

Ahn Ho-Young is the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to the United States. He previoulsy served as first vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the kingdom of Belgium, and to the European Union. 

Hyun Hong-choo

Hyun Hong-choo is senior partner with the law firm Kim & Chang. He previously served as Korean ambassador to the United States, and ambassador of the Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.

Choi Young-jin

Choi Young-jin is a distinguished professor at Yonsei University. Previously he served as Korean ambassador to the United States, and held numerous positions at the United Nations, including head of UN operations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Evans Revere

Evans Revere is a senior adviser at the Albright Stonebridge Group. He previously served as acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and principal deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of State.

Douglas H. Paal

Douglas H. Paal is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and as unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan.