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- 연구원소식 - JPI PeaceTalk
JPI PeaceTalk
Subject JPI PeaceTalk with Patrick MCEACHERN, CFR International Affairs Fellow and Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow
Author JPI  (admin)
File
  20181119_173025.jpg  (210KByte)
2018-11-19 오후 5:46:49

 

 


Q1. Could you briefly introduce yourself to JejuTube viewers?

 

Absolutely. It's an absolute pleasure to be back in Jeju. I always enjoy the forum. My name is Patrick McEachern, I'm a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. and I'm also a counsel on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.

 

Q2. Under the substantial progress of the denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula after the series of the summit meetings, the responses of the four major powers - the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia - become the critical factors. What would be an effective way of constructing a multilateral security regime for Korea that includes super power countries such as the US, China, Japan, and Russia?

 

I think we're at the very beginning of a process and I think realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be critically important to building an effective multilateral security arrangement in the region, and so we have a long process ahead of ourselves that was just started in Singapore, starting with the United States and North Korea, of course, with the critical input of our South Korean ally. So as that process progresses, I think we'll see if it's successful in a natural sense of additional cooperation between the great powers similar to what we saw with the six party talks and with some luck hopefully that can develop into more permanent security arrangements going forward.

 

Q3. In terms of international relations theory, domestic political process is related to the decision-making process of foreign policy. However, the question is the direction and the degree of influence. How do you evaluate the influence of domestic politics of the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia? Do you have any policy suggestions focused on curbing the negative effects of domestic politics on foreign policy decision making in the aforementioned four states, thereby contributing to achieving the denuclearization and the peace system in the Korean Peninsula?

 

I think the two most important countries with respect to realizing denuclearization are North Korea and the United States and so that the process that was begun in Singapore, I think, is very important, and it was a bilateral one, and it's very important to understand that President Trump faces a fundamentally different domestic political calculus on North Korea policy than any of his predecessors. So previously North Korea has been considered a losing domestic political proposition for American presidents. It's very unpopular even to have a successful agreement with them. President Trump by contrast now has over 70 percentage of Americans supporting the idea of diplomacy with North Koreans even though most think that it is not likely to succeed. So he gets credit just for trying and if he succeeds, then he gets some even more of a boost.

 

With that said, domestic issues are tremendously more important in the United States. Polling also shows that while North Korea is the most watched and most important foreign policy issue Americans are following right now, it's about 15th or 16th in line amongst all issues. So economic issues and other domestic matters in the United States are more voting issues for Americans. So that gives President Trump fairly a free hand in foreign policy to proceed with his diplomatic efforts with North Korea. South Korea enjoys a very popular president right now who's obviously very committed to engagement with the North Koreans. I think his success to date on North Korea policy has contributed to that popularity, so I think that is proving a very important to moving along this diplomatic process.

 

With Chinese, if you look at what was agreed in Singapore, North Korea had to give something up pledging in the future to give up something it wanted with respect to its nuclear program and the United States had to give up something that it wanted with respect to military exercise, security guarantees and economic sanctions relief. But the Chinese get everything that they want in that pile, and I don't think that's a bad thing. It means that Beijing will be supportive of this diplomatic effort going forward. The Japanese, I think, are in the most ambivalent position right now. Prime Minister Abe is famously more hardline on North Korea policy, and he's the only one of our major allies in the region that does not have its own bilateral process with the North Koreans right now. So I think it's natural that the Japanese can feel on the outside, but so far they've supported the US effort, as well. So, that's quite important. And the Russian lastly. The Russians have obviously different political system than the democratic ones in the United States, South Korea and Japan. And so, Putin can decide, I think, with a great deal of impunity to move in direction that he'd like. But I think what Russia does have a long-standing interest in non-proliferation and I would like to see a successful agreement move forward.

 

Q4. The confrontation between two major powers, the US and China, has aggravated regional peace and security. How do you evaluate the current status of the US-China relationship and its influence in Asia, in particular in terms of the evolving of China’s “Belt and Road Initiatives” and US-proposed “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” strategy?

 

I think the US-China relationship is in bad shape. It's been in bad shape for a number of years and I think it's about to get worse with the prospects of a trade war very seriously on the horizon between the world's two largest economies. I think this will have a reverberating effect through the supply chains including countries like South Korea and Japan and beyond. So I think this is quite troubling and it's certainly not beneficial for trying to build cooperation and stability throughout the region when the two largest economies, and I think it's fair to say the two most powerful countries operating in the Asia-Pacific region, are at loggerheads. With respect to the Belt and Road initiative and the Indo-Pacific strategy, I think that the Indo-Pacific strategy is an attempted response to the Belt and Road Initiative but I think it's an inadequate response. I think it was a great mistake that the United States decided to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That has ceded a great deal of ground to the Chinese in economic and strategic affairs to exercise greater leverage throughout the region. I think the Indo-Pacific strategy is a very vague vision at this point to try to respond to China. But China's coming with very substantial resources the United States has not. So I'm unfortunately not very optimistic on this score for right now.

 

Q5. How will multilateral talks such as the Jeju Forum contribute to promoting peace better? What direction do you think the Jeju Forum should take in the future?

 

I think Jeju Forum is a wonderful conference. I always look forward to gaining the opportunity to come here. It's a genuine dialogue that's cross-cutting across a variety of issue areas and people come to Jeju and they stay and listen to each other's conference presentations and have serious conversations and don't run back to their offices like often happens when you have a conference in the capitals. So this I think is a wonderful opportunity and I hope it continues for a long time and it's a pleasure to be a part of it.

 

Q6. What do you think is an effective measure with regard to the role of think tanks and their contribution and operation to promote peace?

 

I think think tanks provide important longer-term vision and opportunity to think through new policy ideas that oftentimes governments simply are unable to do. Governments have to focus so much on here and now and the daily operations that it can be very difficult to think longer terms and really develop the ideas for over the horizon. So I think that think tanks have an opportunity but really also a responsibility to provide that sort of public service.

 

Q7. Any last words to JejuTube viewers?

 

It's an absolute pleasure to be here. Thank you for all of your wonderful hospitality and I look forward to coming back in the future