U.S.-South Korean relations will be put to the test this week as South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung visits Washington. Kim’s recent summit with Russian President Putin produced a joint statement effectively opposing U.S. plans to deploy national missile defenses, complicating President Bush’s first foray into East Asian security affairs.
On Friday, November 3, the U.S. and North Korea concluded three days of talks in Kuala Lumpur focused on Pyongyang's missile programs without signing any agreements. U.S. lead negotiator Robert Einhorn characterized the discussions as "detailed, constructive and very substantive," but also emphasized that "significant issues remain to be explored."
Across Asia leaders differ in their assessments and prescriptions for macroeconomic and structural policy management. There are debates about the optimal mix of macroeconomic policies during shock-induced downturns, the mix of public works spending versus spending on the social safety net and the effectiveness of these programs, given corruption. The CERN meeting will address these topics.
For many years South Korea served as a showcase for the not-ready-for-prime-time model of economic development. Reading Cumings's and Oberdorfer's accounts, one is hard-pressed to find evidence that things unfolded in the smooth, organic evolution suggested by the popular models of development. Therein lie clues to explain the collapse of the Asian model.