RELEASE: CAP Report Shows How the United States and South Korea Can Build a Stronger Alliance

Washington, D.C. — Progressive policymakers in Washington and South Korea should work together to build a stronger alliance that can advance shared interests regardless of which political parties are in power, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

While the alliance remains strong, it also faces significant questions about its future. The report analyzes why progressives in the two countries sometimes differ on how to approach key issues in the alliance—from North Korea, to China, to the U.S. military presence on the peninsula—and how to bridge those gaps.

The report makes several recommendations:

  • The two countries should expand mechanisms for broadening and deepening understanding of each other’s foreign policy views.
  • The United States should be more supportive of South Koreans’ interest in improving ties with North Korea before denuclearization occurs.
  • The two progressive foreign policy communities should engage more substantively on the issues of human rights in North Korea and relations with China.
  • U.S. and South Korean progressives should have serious discussions about the goals of the alliance, including how U.S. troop presence on the Korean Peninsula and joint military exercises contribute to those goals.
  • Progressives in both countries should look for ways that economic cooperation can help advance shared domestic priorities.
  • Progressives in both countries should share lessons learned on how to strengthen domestic institutions at home.

Read the report: “How to Create a Durable U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Finding Common Ground Among Progressives” by Michael Fuchs and Abigail Bard

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.