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The Past and the Future.”

Andrew Yeo, a political scientist and author of “Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests,” joined the Wilson Center for a discussion on the 70-year strong alliance between the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK). Speaking on “70 years of the US-ROK Alliance: The Past and the Future”, Yeo highlighted the long-standing security alliance built between the two countries in the aftermath of the Korean War, and outlined potential future trends within the alliance. Yeo noted the alliance and its evolution from security and defense partnership to economic partnership, as demonstrated through the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). Additionally, Yeo stated the challenges that have emerged in the past few decades such as the environmental issues, human rights concerns, and the demands for increased autonomy from the South Korean government towards the US. In the future, Yeo believes that the alliance will remain strong because of the alignment of the two countries’ strategic interests but will have to navigate new challenges, such as China’s rise, in order to maintain its relevance. Yeo also touched on North Korea’s nuclear program and its effect on the US-ROK alliance, stating that while the alliance remains important in containing North Korea, it is important for the US to approach the issue of denuclearization via a multilateral approach. To conclude, Yeo emphasized the importance of the transpacific alliance as a means to jointly address global challenges and to help maintain international security.

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