JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS Forum 2014 Opening Remarks by Chairman HONG, Seok-Hyun

In the past year, the security situation in East Asia and the atmosphere of Korean society, has changed drastically. Korean people are grieving for the victims of the tragic Sewol ferry accident. I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to President Barack Obama and the American citizens for their sincere assistance and consolation. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The Sewol ferry tragedy is a disaster that stemmed from the aggregated failures of the Korean system. However, it will surely be a pivotal point to build a safer and more transparent society. In the aftermath of the disaster, the inter-Korean relationship and foreign policy have given way to the administrative priority of disaster management.

Seok-Hyun Hong

Former CSIS Trustee