Korean-American Attitudes Toward and Impact on U.S.-Korea Policy

As immigrants, residents, and citizens, Koreans in the United States have always maintained strong connections to Korea. While the development of a strong Korean-American political voice outside of the insular ethnic community has not paralleled the economic and educational successes experienced by a significant proportion of Korean-Americans, recent increases in Korean American political participation in U.S. domestic elections increase the likelihood that this population becomes a stronger force in future U.S. relations with Korea. Recognizing the activities and sentiment of the growing Korean-American community as an important factor in the U.S.-Korean bilateral relationship, this project aims to understand and consider the “K Factor,” that is the Korean-American political voice and perspectives on issues related to U.S.-Korea relations, and offer recommendations to policymakers and scholars on both sides to begin a process of utilizing the Korean-American community in the United States and bridge the gaps that may appear in the bilateral relationship in coming years. The study was conducted through surveys, interviews, and roundtable discussions, and culminated in a report published in March 2008. Roll-out events of the final report were held in Seoul, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. The report is available here in both English and Korean.

International Security Program