Sunday, July 30, 2017

We Need a Radical New Approach on North Korea

I strongly disagree with ending the "one Korea policy" As Jay Lefkowitz argues.  I would submit that we have had a "one Korea policy" in name only and only paid lip service to it over the past 6+ decades.  We have never really pursed a strategy to support the unification of the Peninsula which of course requires a long term integrated strategy with the US supporting the ROK in achieving unification.  Despite our rhetoric we have de facto supported two Koreas from recognizing the DPRK as a member of the United Nations to conducting direct negotiations (Agreed Framework and others) to maintaining back channel communications (the New York Channel and multiple track 1.5 talks). And of course de facto recognition of the two Koreas is exemplified by the 6 party talks.  And I will not even go into the details of negotiating with the regime and how it has undermined or broken every agreement made with the ROK, US and the international community.  (And note that his argument may be undercut by reports that President Moon is calling for deploying the additional THAAD launchers and developing organic ROK offensive missiles and increasing the range of current systems).

I also think that the Kim Family Regime's actions may also indicate another facet of its strategy that I have not recognized in the past. In addition to its standard blackmail diplomacy - conduct provocations to gain political and economic concessions (and also conduct provocations to support internal regime/domestic politics)  I think the regime's actions are designed for immediate effect and to draw immediate responses from the US in particular but the international community in general so that policy makers and strategists cannot design and implement long term policies and strategies.  American and international politics demand immediate responses to north Korea provocations and the regime understands this.  The regime continues to create dilemmas for the ROK, US and international community and take away the ability to have the initiative for a long term strategy.

At the risk of beating a dead horse here is what I have written before (and below the article I have pasted some additional details and links.

I would like to see the development of a holistic strategy for Korea and Northeast Asia as part of a new American Grand Strategy.  We cannot have policy and strategy focus on a single north Korean threat but instead must develop policy and strategy that will ultimately solve the "Korea Question" (which comes from paragraph 60 of the 1953 Armistice that recognized that the only solution on the Korean peninsula was through unification and resolution of the "Korea Question.") The Korean portion of the grand strategy would recognize and focus on the "Big 5" for the Korean peninsula:

    1. War - must deter, and if attacked defend, fight and win.
    2. Regime Collapse - must prepare for the real possibility and understand it could lead to war and both war and regime collapse could result in resistance within the north.
    3. Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity - (gulags, external forced labor, etc) must focus on as it is a threat to the Kim Family Regime and undermines domestic legitimacy - and it is a moral imperative.
    4. Asymmetric threats (provocations, nuclear program, missile, cyber, and SOF) and global illicit activities.
    5. Unification - the biggest challenge and the solution.

The bottom line is that the only way we are going to see an end the nuclear program and threats and to the crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim Family Regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea(UROK) that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.

Until we develop a strategy that allows us to cope, contain, and manage the Kim Family Regime (which must include a strategic strangulation campaign to cut off resources that support the regime elite and fund the nuclear and missile programs) while we pursue long term, integrated, and cohesive actions that focuses on the above strategic aim we will continue to be in the reactionary mode while the Kim Family Regime maintains the initiative.

Excerpt:

What is needed is a drastic change in our approach to the Korean Peninsula. Specifically, we should abandon our “One Korea” policy, long embraced by Republicans and Democrats. It’s no longer realistic or viable.

We Need a Radical New Approach on North Korea

With its latest provocation — a ballistic missile launch in the direction of Japan — North Korea is reminding Washington that its boast of having weapons capable of reaching the “heart of the United States” may not remain propaganda for much longer. The threat from Pyongyang should be one of President Trump’s most urgent priorities.
Yet so far, despite the White House’s sharp rhetoric about how North Korea will not be allowed to continue its nuclear program and how China must bring North Korea in line, Mr. Trump’s policy appears to be as ineffectual as those of his predecessors. The proof? With every missile launch, the North moves incrementally closer to having a delivery system for its nuclear arsenal that can reach Seattle and San Francisco.
What is needed is a drastic change in our approach to the Korean Peninsula. Specifically, we should abandon our “One Korea” policy, long embraced by Republicans and Democrats. It’s no longer realistic or viable.
North Korean soldiers, rear, looking south at a photo op among officials commemorating the signing of the Korean War Armistice agreement. Credit Pool photo by Jung Yeon-JePhoto by: Pool Jung Yeon-Je
Ever since the cease-fire that halted the Korean War in 1953 and maintained the border between what became North and South Korea along the 38th parallel, the official stance of the United States has been to support a unification of the peninsula under the leadership of its close ally, South Korea. This, of course, is anathema to China, which more than anything else wants to reduce the influence of the United States in Asia.
Under no circumstances will China tolerate what it sees as a client state of the United States (and a vibrant free-market democracy) on its most porous border. The reality on the ground, as difficult as it may be for the Trump administration to stomach, is that despite America’s great military and economic might, it has very limited influence over North Korea. China, on the other hand, has substantial influence over the North: More than two-thirds of North Korea’s trade is with China. The reality is that the path to resolving the North Korea crisis goes through China.
The challenge for Mr. Trump is to find a way to persuade the Chinese that a regime change in North Korea — or, at the very least, serious containment of its nuclear ambitions — is actually in China’s best interest. Short of such a strategy, the president is left with two options, neither of which is practical: He can use force to decapitate the Kim regime on his own, or he can escalate America’s presence in the region by increasing the number of American troops and moving short-range missiles into South Korea and Japan to have an effective response to a first strike from Pyongyang.
The former option would destabilize the region and cause millions of North Koreans to seek refuge in South Korea and China. The latter option faces serious political obstacles. First, China’s foreign ministry spokesman made clear in June that any uptick in United States military presence in the region would “severely damage China’s security interests and undermine the regional strategic balance.” Second, Moon Jae-in, the newly elected president of South Korea, is vocal in his opposition to the installation of the THAAD (terminal high altitude area defense) antimissile defense system that the Pentagon has sought to deploy in South Korea.
So what can Mr. Trump do? The worst possible outcome would be for him to sit back, as some of his predecessors have done, proclaiming ever more red lines as North Korea methodically tests missile after missile. Eventually — and perhaps imminently — the Kim regime will develop a successful ballistic delivery system for its growing nuclear arsenal. And that will present a grave threat to Americans, not just those living in Alaska.
The right option, though painful, is to negotiate with China. Diplomacy is all about carrots and sticks. And the time is right to offer China a real carrot by making clear that our aim is no longer a unified peninsula. A major benefit of abandoning our “One Korea” policy is that if China does not reign in the Kim regime even after the United States assuages China’s concerns about American influence, the United States will then be on much stronger footing in resorting to sticks, such as unilaterally increasing its military presence in the region and deploying a missile defense system, much like Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s when he announced he would put missiles in Britain, Italy and Germany to send a message to the Soviet Union. Moreover, despite paying lip service to unification of the peninsula for reasons of nationalism, it isn’t clear that most South Koreans really want to absorb more than 20 million North Koreans into their nation. So a reversal of American policy could well lead to greater regional stability.
We should hope that the time doesn’t come when the United States has no alternative other than to challenge North Korea militarily. It’s not that Washington lacks the power to do so effectively. It’s that military action, as we have seen over the last two decades, brings with it unforeseen and often problematic collateral consequences. But diplomacy is ineffective when it is untethered from a realistic assessment of the needs and interests of all the relevant parties. And that is what has plagued recent administrations. If the United States finally wants to start making progress in its effort to combat more than a decade of nuclear expansion by North Korea, it has to start by dropping a cornerstone of its Korea policy.
Additional thoughts:

Assumptions:

1.  The KFR will not give up its nuclear and missile programs.
2.  China and Russia will not solve the Korean Question or force the KFR to give up its nuclear and missile programs.
3.  China and Russia will exploit KFR threats to undermine US credibility and split the ROK/US Alliance.
4.  A pre-emptive strike will not be able to eliminate the KFR nuclear and missile threats.
5.  A pre-emptive strike will result in a catastrophic response from the north.
6.  Survival of the KFR remains the vital national interest to the north, thus it can be deterred from catastrophic attack.
7.  The regime will not trust any security guarantee by the US and will not waver from the belief that the US seeks the end of the KFR.
8.  Sanctions do not help the problem without enforcement by China and the international community.
9.  KFR global illicit activities provide hard currency to support the regime and nuclear and missile programs
10.  The north will only submit to unification if the KFR remains in power.
11.  The north is prepared to achieve unification by coercion of the ROK or force.
12.  The most important deterrent to resuming hostilities by north Korea is to sustain the illusion that the Kim Family Regime will continue to survive.
13. Policy of the Trump and Moon administrations are mostly in accord re: NK and should remain constant — both agree to (1) pursue denuclearization of North Korea in a peaceful manner—i.e., without seeking ‘regime change’; (2) to the use of sanctions/pressure as diplomatic tools; (3) and to supporting South Korea’s lead role in re-opening inter-Korean dialogue
14. Emboldened by the above, President Moon Jae-in will doggedly pursue the policy tenets and principles that support his new Berlin Doctrine.
15. The only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and threats and to the crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.

8 Contingencies
1. Provocations to gain political and economic concessions.
2. nK Attack – execution of the nK campaign plan to reunify the peninsula by force.
3. Civil War/Chaos/Anarchy.
4. Refugee crisis.
5. Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster relief.
6. WMD, loss of control – seize and secure operations.
7. Resistance to foreign intervention (e.g., insurgency).
8. How to handle the nKPA during regime collapse short of war.

3 Guiding Principles:
1.  Defense of ROK is paramount – all decisions must support defense of ROK against the full range of threats from the north.
2.  Must provide options to national policy makers – early decisions required to overcome the law of physics: time, distance, and space.  Must have the right capabilities in the right place for employment at the right time.
3.  Transparency is critical when dealing with the 5 Parties and international community (except for the classified program to support internal resistance).  Must have decisive and consistent themes and messages.  This is not the situation in which we should employ deception.  Only through clear articulation of alliance priorities and intent can we have a chance of reducing the chance of conflict due to misunderstanding of intentions.  Examples for consideration (and these should be consistently expressed by the ROK/US Alliance):
            A.  Defense and Security of ROK is the number one priority.
            B. UNC and ROK/US CFC have the following priorities:
                        (1) Security of nuclear weapons, followed by chemical weapons and then the biological program
                        (2) Security, health, and welfare of the Korean people living in the north.
                        (3) UNC and ROK/US CFC desire to work with all interested nations to bring security, stability and long term peace to the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.
                        (4) UNC and ROK/US CFC will support the establishment of a unified peninsula – a United Republic of Korea.

7 Steps of Preparation
1. Shared vision – a new durable political arrangement** 
2. Roles & Missions  - national responsibilities for action
3. Organizational Framework for operations  (UNC/ROK/US CFC, independent operations, other)
4. Command, Control, Coordination, and liaison processes & methods (including information sharing)
5. Concept of operations for deploying required forces (air, land, and sea)
6. Resource commitment – which countries provide what
7. And most important  - information/psychological preparation of the environment



1. The previous administration’s policy has been known informally and unofficially as strategic patience.  It rests fundamentally on two pillars:  first is maintaining effective deterrence and being prepared to defend against and defeat a north Korean attack the ROK and second it is focused on causing the Kim Family Regime to give up its nuclear weapons.  In fact all US diplomatic initiatives rest on the condition that the north must show that it is committed to denuclearization.

2.  However, the north has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons and missile programs.  The regime has rewritten its constitution to name itself a nuclear power.  It believes that nuclear weapons are key to the survival of the Kim Family Regime which is the single vital national interest of north Korea - not survival of the nation state or the prosperity and welfare of the Korean people living in the north.  The regime believes that it must have nuclear weapons to deter the US from attack.  It believes that the US will not attack a nation with nuclear weapons and it looks to the example of Saddam and Qaddafi as to what happens when a nation does not develop nuclear weapons or gives them up (and the Libyan case makes the regime distrust the US more than anything else).  Nuclear weapons are also a key tool as art of its blackmail diplomacy as the threat of use, proliferation, as well as holding out the possibility of talks provides the regime with leverage to use with the US and international community.  Lastly, the regime wants to be recognized as a powerful nation and having nuclear weapons is key to such recognition.

3.  What does the north want?  It has no intention of negotiating away its nuclear weapons program,  It wants to be recognized as nuclear power.  In fact it would like to be so recognized on a par with the Russia, China, the UK, France, US, Pakistan, and India.  It would be willing to negotiate with the US but it wants to do so and focus on limitation and reduction talks in the same pattern as the US-USSR SALT and START negotiations during the Cold War

Whether or not the regime collapses will be a function of the internal dynamics of the regime unless there is a deliberate strategy to conduct "strategic strangulation."  This would require a concerted effort by the international community to deny hard currency and goods to the Kim Family Regime (KFR) through interdiction of all its illicit activities around the world from money laundering to counterfeiting to drug trafficking to sales of military equipment.  If the regime was sufficiently "strangled" and cut off from external support then we might see the conditions rise that could cause regime collapse along the lines of Robert Collin's Seven Phases of Regime Collapse (see Robert Kaplan's 2006 Atlantic article -linked below).  However, I am doubtful that the international community would be supportive of such a strategy.

If hard currency and luxury goods were cut off the regime could lose the support of the elite which could lead to regime collapse.  As we were conducting planning for north Korean instability and collapse in the 1990's we defined regime collapse as the inability of the Kim Family Regime (thought the Korean Workers Party) to "govern from the center" (I.e., Pyongyang) combined with the loss of coherency and support of the military.  Those two conditions can lead to active resistance to the regime, then fracture, and then formation of a new national leadership (or not) - See Robert Collins' Seven Phases of Collapse.

However, when thinking about causing the deliberate collapse of the Kim Family Regime we must keep in mind that the single vital national interest for north Korea is survival of the Kim Family Regime.  Its single strategic objective is to reunify the peninsula under regime control to ensure survival of the KFR.  This means when faced with imminent collapse Kim Jong-un may make the deliberate and from his perspective very rational decision to execute his military campaign plan to reunify the peninsula by force.  This means going to war.  This is why we have to take a holistic approach to the Korean security situation and look at it in terms of what I call the "Big 5." 

An Information Based Strategy to Reduce Korea’s Increasing Threat

Unification Options and Scenarios: Assisting A Resistance

Beyond the Nuclear Crisis: A Strategy for the Korean Peninsula

Should The United States Support Korean Unification And If So, How?

Irregular Warfare on the Korean Peninsula

Information and Influence Campaign in north Korea When, Why, and How?

When North Korea Falls

A Preemptive Strike on North Korea? Does it make sense? What comes after? What comes before?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Joint Statement between the United States and the Republic of Korea

Some good news here.  Many positive statements in this joint statement. I hope both the ROK and US national security practitioners can take this as strategic guidance for the alliance and use this in policy, strategy, and campaign plan development.  It will be interesting to see when President Trump will travel to Korea.

Seems like we may be seeing the foundation laid for a good cop-bad cop strategy with the ROK taking the lead on engagement (which I fully support if it is supporting a strategy of influencing the Korean people living in the north and the 2d tier leadership and the elite to change the Kim Family Regime - and you are free to interpret change any way you like as long we are are influencing and supporting internal change).

The key statements I was looking for made it into the statement are on unification (with recognition of a ROK lead) and the human rights of the "Korean people living in the north" - I would have preferred use of that phrase recognizing one Korea people rather than "the DPRK's people" but I will take this as an excellent start.

President Trump supported the ROK’s leading role in fostering an environment for peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders expressed deep concern about the well-being of the DPRK’s people, particularly in light of the egregious human rights violations and abuses committed against them by the government, and noted their intention to ensure sanctions have minimal impact on the DPRK’s vulnerable populations. President Trump expressed support for President Moon’s aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on issues, including humanitarian affairs. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of cooperating with the international community to hold the DPRK accountable for substantial progress on the deplorable human rights situation in that country.
...
The two leaders shared the view that strong and dynamic ties between our two countries are the foundation of the United States-ROK Alliance.They decided to advance future-oriented cooperation through high-level consultations in the areas of economy and trade, renewable and nuclear energy, science and technology, space, environment, health, and defense technology. President Trump and President Moon affirmed that the United States and the ROK will work together to support and uphold the rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific region. The two leaders affirmed that the strength of the United States-ROK Alliance serves as testament to the power of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and acknowledged that the future of the two countries is linked through people-to-people ties, with more than 1.7 million Korean Americans in the United States, hundreds of thousands of Americans visiting and working in the ROK each year, and close ties created through cultural programs and student and professional exchanges. President Trump and President Moon heralded the exemplary nature of the United States-ROK Alliance, from strengthening our security by deterring and defending against the DPRK threat, enhancing strong regional relations, and advancing our economic relationship and expanding our global partnership. Both leaders expressed their expectation that the friendship and partnership between the two countries will continue to strengthen and grow for many decades to come.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/30/joint-statement-between-united-states-and-republic-korea
For Immediate Release

Joint Statement between the United States and the Republic of Korea

President Donald J. Trump hosted President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the White House on June 29 and 30 in order to advance the comprehensive strategic Alliance between the United States and the ROK and to deepen the two countries’ friendship. Since its founding, the Alliance has served as a linchpin for security, stability, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia Pacific region, and increasingly around the world. As we mark the 67th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the commitment of the United States to the ROK’s defense remains ironclad. President Trump reaffirmed that the United States will defend the ROK against any attack and both presidents remain committed to jointly addressing the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Built on mutual trust and shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, the United States-ROKpartnership has never been stronger, and the two leaders pledged to build an even greater Alliance going forward.
Strengthening the United States-ROK Alliance
The two leaders affirmed the Alliance’s fundamental mission to defend the ROKthrough a robust combined defense posture and the enhancement of mutual security based on the United States-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty. President Trump reiterated the United States commitment to provide extended deterrence to the ROK, drawing on the full range of United States military capabilities, both conventional and nuclear. Regular dialogue channels, such as the Security Consultative Meeting and the Military Committee Meeting, are instrumental in deepening our Alliance. The two leaders decided to continue the Alliance’s work to expeditiously enable the conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control of ROK forcesThe ROK will continue to acquire the critical military capabilities necessary to lead the combined defense, and detect, disrupt, destroy, and defend against the DPRK’s nuclear and missile threats, including through interoperable Kill-Chain, Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), and other Alliance systems.
The two leaders reaffirmed the Alliance’s commitment to counter the growing threat to peace and security posed by the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. To increase coordination on Alliance issues, the leaders committed the foreign affairs and defense agencies of the two countries to regularize a “2+2” ministerial meeting, as well as a high-level Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group to employ all elements of national power to strengthen extended deterrence.
Maintaining Lock-Step Coordination on our Policy regarding the DPRK
President Trump and President Moon pledged to continue to coordinate closely to achieve our shared goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. The two leaders called on the DPRK to refrain from provocative, destabilizing actions and rhetoric, and to make the strategic choice to fulfill its international obligations and commitments. The two leaders affirmed that the DPRK’s nuclear tests and unprecedented number of ballistic missile tests constitute direct violations of multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) and highlight the accelerating threat the DPRK’s missile programs pose to international peace and security. They affirmed their commitment to fully implement existing sanctions and impose new measures designed to apply maximum pressure on the DPRK and compel Pyongyang to cease its provocative actions and return to sincere and constructive talks. The two leaders also urged all UN member states to swiftly and fully implement UNSCR obligations and took note, with appreciation, of constructive actions by some countries around the world to exert diplomatic and economic pressure on the DPRK to return to credible negotiations on denuclearization. They noted the important role China could play to this end. In addition, the two sides committed to enhance cooperation to combat the DPRK’s dangerous and destabilizing malicious cyber activity.
Noting that sanctions are a tool of diplomacy, the two leaders emphasized that the door to dialogue with the DPRK remains open under the right circumstances. In reaffirming that resolution of the nuclear issue is a top priority for both countries, the two leaders emphasized that the United States and the ROK do not maintain a hostile policy toward the DPRK and, together with the rest of the international community, stand ready to offer a brighter future for the DPRK, if it chooses the right path. The two sides will closely coordinate on a joint the DPRK policy, including efforts to create conditions necessary for denuclearization talks, through a high-level strategic consultation mechanism.
President Trump supported the ROK’s leading role in fostering an environment for peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders expressed deep concern about the well-being of the DPRK’s people, particularly in light of the egregious human rights violations and abuses committed against them by the government, and noted their intention to ensure sanctions have minimal impact on the DPRK’s vulnerable populations. President Trump expressed support for President Moon’s aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on issues, including humanitarian affairs. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of cooperating with the international community to hold the DPRK accountable for substantial progress on the deplorable human rights situation in that country.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to promote regional relations and enhance United States-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation. The two leaders affirmed that trilateral security and defense cooperation contributes to enhanced deterrence and defense against the DPRK threat. They decided to further develop this cooperation, using established bilateral and trilateral mechanisms. They also underscored the importance of leveraging the United States-ROK-Japan trilateral relationship to address global challenges such as cancer research, energy security, women’s empowerment, and cybersecurity.President Trump and President Moon decided to discuss further ways to enhance trilateral cooperation together with Prime Minister Abe of Japan at the upcoming United States-ROK-Japan Trilateral Summit on the margins of the G20 in July.
Advancing Fair Trade to Promote Economic Growth
President Trump and President Moon committed to foster expanded and balanced trade while creating reciprocal benefits and fair treatment between the two countries. In that regard, the two sides further committed to fostering a truly fair and level playing field, including working together to reduce the global overcapacity of such basic materials as steel and non-tariff barriers to trade.
Both sides pledged to work together, as part of the process of the Commercial Dialogue, to promote investment, support entrepreneurs, and facilitate cooperation between the United States and the ROK to boost economic growth and job creation in both countries.
Enhancing Bilateral Cooperation on Other Economic Opportunities
Both sides also committed to work together through the Senior Economic Dialogue to promote and expand cooperation on other economic issues and to explore the enhancement of economic opportunities through a joint public-private forum. Given the roles of science, technology, and innovation in driving economic growth, the two countries will enhance cooperation in cybersecurity, information and communication technology, and civil space technology.Highlighting the important economic role women play in their societies, the two sides pledged to launch a bilateral partnership to advance women’s economic empowerment.
Actively Collaborating as Global Partners
President Trump and President Moon affirmed that United States-ROKcooperation on global issues is an indispensable and expanding aspect of the Alliance. With respect to global health security collaboration, the two leaders affirmed their support in helping partner countries prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The two leaders condemned the grave human suffering and violence in Iraq and Syria caused by ISIS, and reaffirmed the strong United States-ROK partnership in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.President Trump welcomed the ROK’s commitment to increase humanitarian assistance to countries most affected by terrorism and violent extremism, including its pledge to provide 10 million United States dollars for Iraq this year.The two sides underscored the importance of joint efforts by the international community, including the United States and the ROK, to rebuild peace and stability in Afghanistan, and pledged to continue to work together to support the Afghan people and government.
Future of the Alliance
The two leaders shared the view that strong and dynamic ties between our two countries are the foundation of the United States-ROK Alliance. They decided to advance future-oriented cooperation through high-level consultations in the areas of economy and trade, renewable and nuclear energy, science and technology, space, environment, health, and defense technology. President Trump and President Moon affirmed that the United States and the ROK will work together to support and uphold the rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific region. The two leaders affirmed that the strength of the United States-ROK Alliance serves as testament to the power of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and acknowledged that the future of the two countries is linked through people-to-people ties, with more than 1.7 million Korean Americans in the United States, hundreds of thousands of Americans visiting and working in the ROK each year, and close ties created through cultural programs and student and professional exchanges. President Trump and President Moon heralded the exemplary nature of the United States-ROK Alliance, from strengthening our security by deterring and defending against the DPRK threat, enhancing strong regional relations, and advancing our economic relationship and expanding our global partnership. Both leaders expressed their expectation that the friendship and partnership between the two countries will continue to strengthen and grow for many decades to come.
President Moon invited President Trump to visit the ROK in 2017; President Trump gladly accepted the invitation. The two leaders will continue to discuss issues of mutual interests on various occasions, including during international multilateral conferences.

Beyond Nuclear Diplomacy: A Regime Insider's Look at North Korea (Video of talk by Thae, Yong-ho)

I attended this event today.  Thae Yong-ho makes some very good points.  I am about to go participate in a dinner with him this evening so ...