The year 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the ROK-US alliance. The catch phrase “We go together,” which is used in the Combined Forces Command (CFC), well captures its founding spirit. Since the beginning of the alliance, with the signing of the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953, it has been a key element in both countries’ security strategy. For the United States, the alliance has been regarded as a pillar of its East Asian strategy. And, for the Republic of Korea (ROK), this relationship has been a cornerstone of its national security, in the face of North Korea’s military threat. For the past six decades, the ROK and the United States have overcome various challenges together, deepening cooperation, not only in the military and security arena but also on political and economic matters. This article is not to celebrate these accomplishments, but to provide background for the Topics of the Month statements aimed at identifying what is needed to bolster the alliance in changing regional circumstances.
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