Post Kim Jong-il: Reaffirming the Importance of the U.S.-Korea Alliance
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The news of Kim Jong-il’s death came as a shock to us all, although many of us Korea watchers have been preparing for it since 2008, when Kim Jong-il suffered a massive stroke that took him out of the public eye for months.
Though there are many uncertainties surrounding the death of North Korea’s iron-clad ruler and the transition of power to his young and relatively inexperienced son, Kim Jong-un, one thing is very clear. In the face of the increasingly volatile geopolitical landscape of Northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula, the U.S.-Korea alliance is more important than ever to maintain peace, stability, and continued prosperity in the region.
Our leaders in the White House have already reached out to their counterparts in Korea to ensure America’s commitment to the alliance and stability of the Korean peninsula during this critical period. One way that the business community can help ensure U.S. engagement in this region is to continue expanding our commercial relationship with one of our newest FTA (free trade agreement) partners, South Korea, and ensure that the agreement enters into force in a timely and effective way.
As the United States 7th largest trading partner, South Korea is already an important market for American companies. Implementation of the FTA will bring the U.S.-South Korea relationship to the next level and further solidify the already strong strategic alliance that exists between the two countries. It is up to the companies to maximize the opportunities that will be given to them through the FTA and use this trade deal as a platform to not only create jobs and economic growth in America, but also to engage and stabilize one of our oldest and strongest alliances in Northeast Asia.