Korean Strategic Thoughts on Regional Security Cooperation

Philippines Conference Room
  • Shin-wha Lee

This talk will examine the evolution of Korean strategic thought on regionalism, with particular focus on regional security cooperation:

  1. How does South Korean regional thinking differ from that of its neighbors, and how has it evolved over time?,
  2. Was there any discernable strategic thought to realize regional aspirations during the cold war era, and afterward how has it responded to the dynamics of regionalism in Northeast Asia?,
  3. Is South Korean strategic thought on regionalism long-term, goal-oriented, and consistent? Does it set priorities, recognize trade-offs, and change in response to actual results or new developments in the region? How do competing visions of domestic forces define its scope and direction?,
  4. Under what circumstances has Seoul given regional multilateral cooperation a prominent place in its strategic thinking and national security doctrine? Is it based on careful deliberations and a realistic understanding of costs and benefits?,
  5. Wither to the 6 Party Talks (given North Korea said the Talks are dead) and a five-party proposal by Profesident Lee Myung Bak, about which China seems reluctant?

The speaker will review Seoul’s strategic thought on regional multilateral cooperation in Northeast Asia during and after the cold war, followed by consideration of the challenges and opportunities for growing regionalism with Korean “centrality.”

Shin-wha Lee is currently a visiting professor at School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University and also serving as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations.  She worked at the World Bank and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan. She served as Special Advisor to the United Nations, 'Rwandan Independent Inquiry,' Chair's Advisor of East Asian Vision Group (EAVG), and Coordinator of UNESCO Chair on Peace, Democracy and Human Rights.  She has published numerous articles and books on global security, international  organizations, East Asian security cooperation, UN peacekeeping operations, and nontraditional security such as environmental and human security. Lee holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland at College Park.