The Asan Forum

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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About Experts

Choi Kang
Choi Kang


Dr. CHOI Kang is the President at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Previously, he was the dean of Planning and Assessment at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy. In 2012, Dr. Choi served as the president at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS). He was also a professor and director general for American Studies at IFANS, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, and senior director for Policy Planning and Coordination on the National Security Council Secretariat. He holds several advisory board memberships including: the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Unification of the National Assembly; Ministry of National Defense; Ministry of Unification; Air Force Development Committee; and the National Unification Advisory Council. Dr. Choi was also a South Korean delegate to the Four-Party Talks. He writes extensively on the ROK-US alliance, North Korean military affairs, inter-Korean relations, crisis management, and multilateral security cooperation. Dr. Choi received his B.A. from Kyunghee University, M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University.