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World > Asia > Korea, South > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Korea, South - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-KOREAN RELATIONS
The United States believes that the question of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is, first and foremost, a matter for the Korean people to decide.

Under the 1953 U.S.-R.O.K. Mutual Defense Treaty, the United States agreed to help the Republic of Korea defend itself against external aggression. Since that time in support of this commitment, the United States has maintained military personnel in Korea, including the Army?s Second Infantry Division and several Air Force tactical squadrons. To coordinate operations between these units and the over 680,000-strong Korean armed forces, a Combined Forces Command (CFC) was established in 1978. The head of the CFC also serves as Commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) and U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). The current commander is General Burwell Baxter 'B.B.' Bell.

Several aspects of the security relationship are changing as the U.S. moves from a leading to a supporting role. In 2004, agreement was reached on the return of the Yongsan base in Seoul--as well as a number of other U.S. bases--to the R.O.K. and the eventual relocation of all U.S. forces to south of the Han River. In addition, the U.S. and R.O.K. agreed to move 12,500 of the 37,500 U.S. troops out of Korea by 2008. At the same time U.S. troops are being redeployed from Korea, the U.S. will bolster combined U.S./R.O.K. deterrent and defense capabilities by providing $11 billion in force enhancements in Korea and at regional facilities over the next four years.

As Korea?s economy has developed, trade has become an increasingly important aspect of the U.S.-R.O.K. relationship. The U.S. seeks to improve access to Korea?s expanding market and increase investment opportunities for American business. The implementation of structural reforms contained in the IMF?s 1998 program for Korea improved access to the Korean market, although a range of serious sectoral and structural barriers remained. Korean leaders appear determined to successfully manage the complex economic relationship with the United States and take a more active role in international economic fora as befits Korea?s status as a major trading nation. On April 1, 2007, the U.S. and Korea successfully concluded Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Eight rounds of formal talks held over the course of 10 months culminated in a deal that will 'further enhance the strong United States-Korea partnership, which has served as a force for stability and prosperity in Asia,' as stated by President Bush. If approved by the U.S. Congress and the Korean National Assembly, the FTA is expected to stimulate billions of dollars in trade through the removal of trade barriers and increased investment.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Alexander R. Vershbow
Deputy Chief of Mission--William A. Stanton
Counselor for Political Affairs--Joseph Yun
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Andrew Quinn
Counselor for Management Affairs--An Le
Acting Counselor for Public Affairs--Robert Ogburn
Consul General--Julia Stanley
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--John Fogarasi
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Lloyd Harbert
Chief, Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group, Korea (JUSMAG-K)--Col. Kevin Madden
Defense Attaché--Col. Kip McCormick
Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge--Troy Derby
Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Seoul Bureau Chief--J. Loren Reeder
DHS-Citizenship & Immigration Services--Jose R. Olivares
DHS-Immigration & Customs Enforcement Attaché--Barry Tang
Federal Bureau of Investigation Legal Attaché--J. Sung Maeng

The U.S. Embassy in South Korea is located at 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710. The contact information for the U.S. Embassy is: American Embassy-Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550 (tel.: 82-2-397-4114; fax: 82-2-738-8845). The U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) is located at 146-1, Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Leema Bldg., Rm. 303, Seoul 110-140 (fax: 82-2-720-7921). The U.S. Export Development Office/U.S. Trade Center can be reached c/o U.S. Embassy (fax: 82-2-739-1628).

Additional Resources
The following general country guides are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402:
Library of Congress. North Korea: A Country Study. 1994.
Library of Congress. South Korea: A Country Study. 1992.
Department of State. The Record on Korean Unification 1943-1960. 1961.
Department of the Army. Communist North Korea: A Bibliographic Survey. 1971.

Internet Resources on North and South Korea
The following sites are provided to give an indication of Internet sites on Korea. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications, including Internet sites. R.O.K. Embassy--http://www.koreaembassyusa.org/ Korea Society--http://www.koreasociety.org/; links to academic and other sites. Nautilus Institute--http://www.nautilus.org/; produced by the Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California, and includes press roundup Monday through Friday. Korea Web Weekly--http://www.kimsoft.com/korea.htm; links to North Korean sites. Korea Herald--http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/; South Korean English-language newspaper. Korea Times--http://times.hankooki.com/; South Korean English-language newspaper. (North) Korean Central News Agency--http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Korean Won Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Korean Won Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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