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Asia Unbound

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South Korea-U.S. Summit: A New Approach to North Korea and Afghanistan

by Guest Blogger for Scott A. Snyder Monday, June 1, 2009
U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth talks to reporters at Incheon airport (Pool/Courtesy of Reuters).

Ha Young-sun is professor of international politics at Seoul National University.

Lee Myung-bak will visit the White House next week for his first summit meeting in Washington with Barack Obama. The meeting will be important for relations between South Korea and the United States and will influence East Asia’s regional order for the next decade. The main agenda items will include: fashioning of a vision statement for the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) strategic alliance for the twenty-first century; coordination of a policy response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile tests; South Korea’s assistance to the U.S.-led war on terror in Afghanistan; recovery from the global economic crisis; and the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. At the summit, the two presidents should pay special attention to two primary issues: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and support for the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. Read more »