Restoring and Revitalizing Alliances: A Look Ahead at U.S.–Republic of Korea RelationsVIEW EVENT DETAILS
In partnership with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Houston
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Thursday, May 13, 2021
6:30 p.m. Moderated Discussion
7:15 p.m. Audience Q&A
This program takes place in-person at Asia Society Texas Center and is available for live viewing via a virtual webcast.
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For the new Biden administration, the revitalization of the U.S.–Republic of Korea relationship is crucial to mutual interests in the region. Within the first 100 days of President Biden's tenure, the two countries reached a new cost-sharing agreement for U.S. troops based in South Korea, signaling from both parties an intent to focus on addressing shared regional security challenges.
However, as the two countries navigate national interests as well as international relationships, the path forward for the longtime allies may be rockier than in the past. For the United States, its top priorities in Asia are China and North Korea. While South Korea desires a resumption of U.S.–North Korea talks in pursuit of denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, it has expressed hesitancy in joining the U.S., India, Japan, and Australia in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue to contain China in the region.
Asia Society at Home
Asia Society welcomes Ambassador Myung-soo Ahn, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Houston, alongside a panel of experts to discuss the current state of relationship between the U.S. and South Korea, and how it is likely to evolve in the future.
About the Speakers
Ambassador Myung-Soo Ahn is a 40-year veteran of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. His diplomatic work has primarily focused on international and multilateral trade.
He served as Ambassador to Turkmenistan from 2011 to 2014. Ambassador Ahn retired from the Ministry in 2015, but returned to duty as a diplomat representing Korea after being appointed by President Moon Jae-in as the Consul General of Korea in Houston in April 2020.
Ambassador Ahn previously served as a Minister at the Korean Embassy in the Republic of Indonesia. Prior to that, he was the Director-General of the Multilateral Trade Bureau and the Head of Legal Service for International Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1987 to 1989 and from 2002 to 2004, he served at the Korean Permanent Mission to the UN Offices in Geneva, Switzerland. He has also previously served at Korean Embassies in Brunei and Mauritania.
Originally from Seoul, Ambassador Ahn earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Seoul National University and an M.A. in International Politics from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C.
Hans Stockton is Dean of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences & Global Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where he holds the Cullen Trust for Higher Education/ Fayez Sarofim Endowed Chair in International Studies. He previously served as director of the Center for International Studies from 2010 – 2020. Dr. Stockton holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. His areas of academic specialization are democratization, elections, and security in contemporary Asia Pacific. He has published articles in journals of political science, economics, public administration, and Asian Studies; authored multiple chapters in edited volumes on military affairs in the Asia Pacific and Taiwan’s political development; and authored or edited three books on development and democratization in East Asia. His most recent book, Taiwan: The Development of a Mini-Dragon (2019), is co-edited with Yao-Yuan Yeh.
Dr. Stockton is a Center Associate of the Election Studies Center at National Cheng Chi University in Taipei. He has served as president of the American Association of Chinese Studies (2015, 2016), coordinator of the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies (2012 – 2014), and multiple terms as president of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies. He has served or serves on the board of directors of the Houston-Taipei Society, Japan America Society, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Association. Dr. Stockton has also been the principal investigator for multiple grant awards from the U.S. Department of Education, Japan Foundation, U.S. Japan Council, and ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education in Taiwan.
Se-Hyoung Yi is Assistant Professor and Director of Political Science at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He had previously held the roles of Assistant Professor of Political Science at Trinity Christian College and Research Associate at the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. He has published in the areas of East Asian political thought, comparative political thought, deliberative democracy, and race and ethnic politics. Dr. Yi has a Ph.D. in political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.A.s in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Korea University.
About the Moderator
Randy Sim is President and Founder of Satsun Corporation, a commercial real estate management and development company in Houston, TX. He serves as the Immediate Past Board Chair for the American Leadership Forum and is a member of Class 30. He and his wife Sue are the 2020 recipients of the American Leadership Forum’s Joseph Jaworski Leadership Award. Randy also serves as the Board Chair of the Korean American Society of Houston that annually hosts the Korean Festival at Discovery Green. He also volunteers as a board member of Reinvestment Zone Number One, St George Place Redevelopment Authority, Airline Improvement District, and Asia Society Texas Center. He is also a member of the Council of Korean Americans. Randy attended the University of Texas in Austin. He is a CCIM candidate, a member of Leadership Houston’s class XXVIII, and a fellow of NetKAL’s class V.
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About Asia Society at Home
We are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.
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