AT THE CENTER

Dinner with Korean Ambassador Ho-young Ahn

On May 24, the Center for the National Interest hosted the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, Ho-young Ahn, for a small, off-the-record dinner meeting. The group discussed the challenges of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the state of the U.S.-South Korea alliance following the election of President Moon Jae-in, and

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“The contention that Trump was an isolationist was always something of a canard. He professed a desire to solve, not ignore, the problems that have vexed American foreign policy for decades.”

-Jacob Heilbrunn

“The trends are quite clear — and quite terrifying. Pyongyang will press forward building a robust military arsenal, and Washington and its allies will continue to negate such a build-up with counter measures: missile defense systems like THAAD; offensive weapons like stealth fighters and bombers; the rotating in of "armadas;" and, perhaps eventually, tactical nuclear weapons transferred back to South Korea from the U.S.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“I think it became fairly clear to them [Moscow] that high expectations would be inappropriate in this case, because they could see that the [Trump] administration was under siege, particularly on the Russia issue, and it would be very difficult to do anything constructive.”

-Dimitri K. Simes

“…Trump's actions could have larger consequences if he were to strike again, whether punishing Assad for another chemical weapons attack or some other act of barbarism. Consider this: Just a single misplaced U.S. strike that kills Russian personnel in that war-torn country could be the spark that starts a much wider conflict — a war that could rage from the Baltics into Ukraine and all the way back to the Middle East. And considering Washington and Moscow hold vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, the stakes could not be any higher.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“…Tillerson is right that America cannot always afford to stake its security on the degree to which others are prepared to accommodate our values.”

-Paul J. Saunders

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The Obama administration imposed several rounds of U.S. economic sanctions on Moscow in a series of executive orders following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. So far, the Trump administration has not signaled any intent to change U.S. sanctions policy absent changes in Russia’s conduct. Nevertheless, concerns that

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