Sunday, April 26, 2015

U.S. Policy on Korean Unification: CSIS roundtable on "China's policy toward Korean peninsula reunification"

The series of discussions being held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington and led by Victor Cha, are off to a strong start.  The topic of the April event, co-hosted by the Global Peace Foundation, caught my attention as I have posted regularly (those of you who don't regularly read this blog may wish to review these posts) over recent years on the topic of Korean unification and the role of communication and the ICT sector in it.  However, I must confess that, after viewing the main presentation by Sid Seiler, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks at the Department of State, I was disappointed.  Apparently, the U.S. government has still not grasped the need to come out with a clear statement, at this stage of history preferably from the President or the Secretary of State, on official U.S. policy toward Korean unification.
I cannot count the number of times, over my years in Korea, that I've listened to Korean colleagues or acquaintances tell me that they believe the United States is "opposed" to Korean unification.  I dare say this is a fairly widespread view in South Korea, and not without justification.  From the 1970s, when I first set foot in Korea, to the present, there has been no clear articulation, at the highest levels (meaning President or Secretary of State)  of U.S. government policy relating to Korean unification.  If you take the time to view Ambassador Seiler's  presentation on the embedded video, you'll understand my continuing disappointment.

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