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The US-ROK Alliance: the Feasibility of the Continuing US Military Presence in the Republic of Korea

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posted on 2021-11-12, 13:23 authored by Park, Jeongmin

The U.S. – ROK alliance is currently on a high after a decade of fluctuating relations. Both the Obama and Lee administrations have been focused on producing a future plan that takes both nations strategic interests into account while also considering the changing dynamics in the region. The alliance partners have had to overcome differences of opinion on foreign policy, the rise of anti-Americanism in South Korea, the emergence of China as a power in the region, and the continuing nuclear ambitions and instability in North Korea. This paper discusses how the realignment of the force command structure and a unified long-term strategic plan, has effectively modified the USFK to better deal with these wide ranging issues and remain a force of strategic relevance now and in the future of Asia. The USFK therefore remains an important part of the U.S. – ROK alliance that has positive security implications for both the Korean Peninsula and its surrounding region. It has also become the catalyst for stronger all-round relations between the long-time allies, which lead to positive flow-on effects in economic matters such as the U.S. – ROK Free-Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

International Relations

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of International Relations

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Huang, Xiaoming