Type: Public event

KORUS Alliance: 60 Years and Beyond

Sang-Yong Nam Memorial Lecture with Ambassador Ho-Young Ahn

Date & time

Feb 25, 2016, 4:00-6:00 pm EST


Michigan League, Vandenberg Room
911 N University Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public.


The Republic of Korea and the United States entered into a security alliance on October 1, 1953 – the KORUS Alliance. The decisions of the United States to engage in the Korean War of 1950 and to enter into the KORUS alliance of 1953 have been interpreted to mean an important departure from the post- World War II strategy of the United States in Northeast Asia.

On July 27, 2013, President Barack Obama led more than 7,000 people in a ceremony on the national mall that commemorated both the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the Korean War and the formation of the KORUS Alliance. Behind the pomp of the military band, the solemnity of the remembrance, and the succession of the speeches lay many questions about the history and legacy of the Korea-US Alliance, including:

  • What factors drove the United States to make the important decisions of 1950 and 1953?
  • What is the legacy of the Korea-US Alliance? For Korean security? For Korea’s economic development, which transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world in 1950 to the US’ 6th largest trading partner today? For Korea’s political democratization? For the growth of the Korea-US partnership in important global issues, including the fight against terrorism, cooperation in development assistance, and the containment of epidemics?
  • How does the United States’ engagement in the Korean War compare with its military engagements in other parts of the world after WWII? Why did President Obama define the Korean War as a “forgotten victory” in his speech at the commemoration ceremony?
  • What shape will the KORUS Alliance take in the coming 60 years and beyond? 

Few are better qualified to answer these questions than Ambassador Ho-Young Ahn.

Ambassador Ahn was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America by President Park Geun-hye in May 2013. From 2012 to 2013, he served as First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and before that he served as Korea’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the European Union. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Deputy Minister for Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during which time he served as President Lee Myung-bak’s sherpa to the G-20 and G8 outreach meetings.

This event is co-sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.