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5th ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum Held Online

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Date 2020-07-21 Event period 2020-06-24 ~ 2020-06-26 Read 27
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5th ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum Held Online
From June 24 to 26, 2020, the Korea Foundation held the fifth ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum was held online, connecting Jeju Island and Washington, D.C.

Co-hosted by the Korea Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States, the ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum has served as an opportunity for experts from the two countries to hold frank discussions on Korea-U.S. relations and peace on the Korean peninsula. Since its launch in 2016, the event has been held annually in Washington, D.C., but this year’s meeting was organized online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the forum served as an occasion to look back on the past of the alliance between the two countries, and to discuss the present and future of bilateral relations under the theme of “70 Years Later: Bringing Peace to the Korean Peninsula and Beyond.” It was attended by government officials, scholars, and other experts in foreign and security affairs from both nations.

A total of 14 Korean participants gathered on Jeju Island to attend the online meeting. They included Lee Geun, president, The Korea Foundation; Yoon Young-kwan, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea; Paik Haksoon, president, The Sejong Institute; Ko Yunju, Director-General for North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea; and Han Intaek, research fellow, Jeju Peace Institute.

Meanwhile, 15 former and current high-ranking U.S. officials and experts gathered in Washington, D.C. to participate in the forum. They included Mark Lippert, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Kathleen Stephens, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Mark Knapper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; David Helvey, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; and Randall Schriver, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense.

The forum began on June 24 with opening remarks by Korea Foundation President Lee Geun and CSIS President John Hamre, and a keynote speech on ROK-U.S. relations by South Korea’s First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cho Sei-young. These were followed by the first session, entitled “Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Open to the public, the first session was moderated by former Ambassador Mark Lippert.

On June 25, the second day of the forum, current U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Harry Harris delivered a special speech on COVID-19 and ROK-U.S. economic relations. The speech was followed by two open sessions: “Pandemic and Global Responses” and “Over the Horizon: The Future of the U.S.-ROK Alliance.”
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