On November 29, the Korea Program
at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center ( APARC
) welcomed the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, Cho Yoon-je
, who joined faculty members from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and other Stanford experts for a roundtable discussion about North Korea diplomacy and U.S.-ROK relations.
“We were delighted to host Ambassador Cho,” said Gi-Wook Shin
, director of APARC and of the Korea Program. “The candid conversation enabled us to learn from the Ambassador about the latest developments in the North Korea denuclearization talks and to offer our perspectives and policy recommendations. Convenings of academics and government officials, which Shorenstein APARC frequently organizes, are an excellent venue for advancing dialogue with U.S. counterparts in Asia and for bringing our research to bear on pressing policy issues.”
Rountable participants and Ambassador Cho at Shorenstein APARC. Photo: Thom Holme.
Ambassador Cho recently marked his first year since taking office at the height of the 2017 tensions between North Korea and the United States, when the North conducted a sixth nuclear test and several tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles with the potential to reach the U.S mainland. President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the regime and the North Korean leader responded in kind. Then renewed inter-Korean discussions paved the way for an unprecedented U.S.-DPRK summit and following diplomatic engagement.
Ambassador Cho and the roundtable participants discussed recent reports pointing that diplomacy has stagnated in the months since the summit. The Ambassador expressed South Korea’s determination to seize the opportunity for rapprochement with the North and its commitment to the ROK alliance with the United States.
A specialist in international finance and economics, Ambassador Cho earned his MA and PhD in economics from Stanford University. Throughout his career he has held leadership positions that span both public service and academia. His former roles include the ROK Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Special Envoy to the European Union and to Germany; Senior Counselor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy of the ROK; Vice President of the Korea Institute of Public Finance; Senior Economist at the World Bank; Economist at the International Monetary Fund; and Director of Sogang University’s Institute for Area Studies.