JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS Forum 2019
Navigating Geostrategic Flux in Asia: The United States and Korea
2019 witnessed the restart of diplomacy between the United States and North Korea after the failed summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. The process of building peace on the Korean peninsula remains a paramount goal of all parties, and the price of unsuccessful diplomacy is a burgeoning nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. Can another run at diplomacy be successful when past ones have failed? How can parties link up a peace building process on the peninsula with a denuclearization agenda?The ninth annual Joongang Ilbo-CSIS Forum will bring together renowned scholars, experts, and officials to answer these and other questions when they converge at CSIS headquarters in Washington DC on September 29-30, 2019.
Of key interest will be how to address not just the short-term tactical questions about diplomacy, but also how to embed these questions in broader geostrategy in Asia. This necessitates an equally important subset of questions. How do we think about the North Korean issue in the context of broader East Asian stability? To what extent does peer competition between the United States and China impact the Korean peninsula? What are the prospects of trilateral coordination among the allies in Asia? And is there a strategy for peace building and denuclearization that fits with broader U.S. and South Korean geostrategic objectives in Asia?
Panels on peace and denuclearization, seeking solutions to the Korea-Japan conflict, and U.S.-China relations will be the setting in which these and other questions will be discussed and debated.
9:00-9:10 AM: OPENING REMARKS
Hong Seok-Hyun, Chairman, JoongAng Holdings; Chairman, Korea Peace Foundation
9:10-9:20 AM: WELCOMING REMARKS
John Hamre, President and CEO, CSIS
9:20-10:00 AM: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
John R. Bolton, National Security Advisor (2018 – 2019) and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005 – 2006)
Moderated by Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, CSIS
10:00-10:20 AM: COFFEE BREAK
10:20-11:40 AM: SESSION I: PEACE AND DENUCLEARIZATION
This conversation will assess the state of denuclearization and peacebuilding diplomacy on the Korean peninsula and consider possible pathways going forward. The panel members will offer analysis on questions that include: Can inter-Korean relations progress satisfactorily absent movement towards a denuclearization agreement? What are the prospects of President Trump’s “bromance” diplomacy after three face-to-face summits with the DPRK leader? Can President Moon’s create more diplomatic opportunities between Washington and Pyongyang? Variables to consider in answering these questions include: the U.S. presidential campaign, South Korean national elections, DPRK horizontal and vertical proliferation, U.S. retreat from the INF treaty, and SMA negotiations among others.
Courtney Kube, Reporter, NBC
Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, CSIS
Kim Byung-Yeon, Professor, Seoul National University
Park Myung-Lim, Professor, Yonsei University; Director, Kim Dae-Jung Presidential Library
Sue Mi Terry, Senior Fellow, CSIS
11:40 AM–1:00 PM: FEATURED LUNCHEON REMARKS
The Honorable Song Min-soon Former Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade
1:00-2:20 PM: SESSION II: U.S.-CHINA HEGEMONIC RIVALRY
Changes in U.S.-China relations invariably impact developments on the Korean peninsula. The turn toward a competitive template for U.S.-China relations raises a series of questions about the region’s geopolitics. How do nations respond to the economic and security pressures? Do China’s Belt and Road Initiative and AIIB projects cast a shadow over strategic calculations by states? Can U.S.-China cooperation on the North Korea issue change the tenor of Washington-Beijing relations? Does U.S.-China competition have a uniform impact on South Korea and North Korea? How do countries like Korea deal with the weaponization of trade? Do economic national security issues like Huawei and 5G have cohering or corrosive effects on alliance cooperation?
Mark Lippert, Senior Adviser, CSIS
Richard Armitage, President, Armitage International and Trustee, CSIS
Choi Byung-il, Professor, Ewha Womans University
Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser, CSIS
Kim Heung-Kyu, Director, China Policy Institute, Ajou University
2:20–2:35 PM COFFEE BREAK
2:35-3:55 PM: SESSION III: SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO THE KOREA-JAPAN CONFLICT
One of the cornerstones of regional stability and a free and open Indo Pacific is trilateral policy coordination among the key democratic allies in Asia, the United States, Korea, and Japan. This panel will address how the recent difficulties in relations between Seoul and Tokyo can be resolved, and what the impact of Korea-Japan dysfunction has on regional relations, North Korea diplomacy, China’s rise, and global economic issues. Is there a solution to the current impasse? How have past difficult periods in relations been resolved. What role should the United States play? What is the role of domestic politics? To whose advantage does the current impasse play?
Shin Kak-soo, Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade
Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS
Lee Keun-Gwan, Professor, Seoul National Univeristy
Park Cheol-Hee, Professor, Seoul National University
Kathleen Stephens, President, KEI
4:00 – 4:45 PM: CLOSING KEYNOTE ADDRESS
John C. Rood, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense