The U.S.-ROK Alliance in an Evolving Asia, by Momoko Sato

The U.S.-ROK alliance remains robust despite changes in the international system—particularly, the end of the Cold War—and amidst some skepticism, the alliance has been, and will remain, an essential component of both nations’ strategic interests.  However, the emergence of a nascent cooperative atmosphere in East Asia adds new dimensions of possible challenges and strength.  While it is difficult to foresee whether the cooperative efforts among China, Japan, and South Korea will deepen into more significant strategic and institutionalized mechanisms, the evolving regional architecture of East Asia is one that nonetheless will have a significant impact on the framework of U.S.-Asia policy. The potential changes are both a challenge and an opportunity to test the flexibility and adaptive ability of both U.S. policy and the U.S.-ROK alliance.

“The U.S.-ROK Alliance in an Evolving Asia,” is an excerpt from Part III of the 2009 SAIS U.S.-Korea Yearbook.

Momoko Sato is a second-year M.A. candidate at SAIS concentrating in Korea and Japan studies. She holds a B.A. in international relations, history, and political science from Boston University. Her academic interests include East Asian security and regional issues, which she covers as a research associate at the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies.