It’s Not Just Over There: The American Commitment to the Korean Peninsula

The Stimson Center and Stimson’s 38 North program, working with the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, presented a webinar to discuss the US commitment to the Korean Peninsula. Moderated by Dr. Clint Work, a Stimson Fellow, the webinar offered a virtual conversation with featured speakers, Gen. (Ret.) Vincent K. Brooks, former Commander, US Forces Korea (2016-2018) and President and Chairman of the Korea Defense Veterans Association (KDVA) and Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin.

Based on Gen. Brooks and Dr. Greitens’ extensive experience and expertise, the webinar examined several aspects of the US-Korea relationship. Among a broad range of topics, the discussion explored: the current state of relations between the US and North Korea and possible trends in the coming months; the importance of the US-ROK alliance, in terms of longstanding historical and people-to-people ties as well as shared democratic values and strategic interests; and the nature and composition of the US military forces in South Korea. Following the discussion, the moderator and speakers held a Q&A session with the attending audience, which touched on: US-China relations and how they affect both North and South Korea; the question of South Korea’s own nuclear deterrent; how best to restart or incentivize negotiations with North Korea; and the complicating role of Congress in the existing sanctions regime.

Audience members were also given three polling questions, asking: whether or not a presidential candidate’s views on North Korea were important to how they would vote in the November election; what the best policy options were in approaching North Korea in the future; and how best to approach US alliances.

The program was introduced and closed by the Clements Center’s Associate Director, Lt. Col. (Ret.), U.S. Army, Paul Edgar, Ph.D.

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Part of the Congressional Fellowship Project  and the Project .
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