October 14, 2015

CNAS Press Note: Korean President Park's Visit to the United States

By Patrick M. Cronin, and Richard Fontaine

Washington, October 14 – As South Korean President Park Geun-hye begins her trip to the United States, Center for a New American Security (CNAS) President Richard Fontaine and Asia-Pacific Security Program Director Patrick Cronin have written the Press Note “Korean President Park’s Visit to the United States” to frame the issues she and President Obama will face.

The full press note is below:
This week's summit meeting between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and President Barack Obama might easily have been overshadowed by North Korea.  However, in the absence of a major new provocation, this fourth summit meeting between the two leaders is likely to grapple with a constellation of security, economic, and emerging "new frontier" issues.
Even so, showcasing the strength of the bilateral alliance, perhaps by highlighting new cooperation in cyber space, remains a core shared goal of Presidents Park and Obama.  A naval exercise off the east coast of Korea next week will provide a more tangible reminder of the how Seoul and Washington are constantly working to shore up deterrence and readiness.
But both leaders will call on North Korea to make good on its past commitments, especially denuclearization.  Chinese calls for resuming Six Party Talks and North Korean calls for beginning talks on a peace agreement will not be compelling to Presidents Park and Obama, both of whom share the view that North Korea remains the main obstacle to peace on the peninsula.
Meanwhile, the two leaders want to demonstrate that the overall relationship is moving well beyond the traditional core mission of preserving peace on the peninsula.  Korea's middle-power role should be evident in an expanding array of areas of cooperation, ranging from helping Syrian refugees to countering ISIS to advancing a regime to combat climate change to promoting health and women's and girls' education.  These are some of the new frontiers that will define a strong, shared vision of two market democracies as they seek to forge a rules-based regional and global order.
Cronin and Fontaine are available for interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Neal Urwitz at nurwitz@cnas.org or 202-457-9409.


  • Patrick M. Cronin

    Former Senior Advisor and Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Patrick M. Cronin is a former Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the ...

  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...