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It's Not Just Over There: The American Commitment to the Korean Peninsula

  • 09 Mar 2021
  • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (MST)
  • Online

It's Not Just Over There: The American Commitment to the Korean Peninsula

March 9, 2021

3:00pm - 4:00pm MT

Virtual Event

The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR), working with the Stimson Center and Stimson’s 38 North program, presents a webinar to discuss the importance of the US commitment to the Korean Peninsula. Moderated by Dr. Clint Work, a Stimson Fellow, the webinar offers a virtual conversation with featured speakers, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Chun In-Bum, former general in the ROK Army; Col. (Ret.) Steve Lee, US Army Retired, Senior Vice President of Operations, Korea Defense Veterans Association; and Jenny Town, Stimson Fellow and Deputy Director of Stimson’s 38 North program.

The webinar will offer informed commentary and engage audience members on the importance of the US relationship with the Korean Peninsula and the region as a whole. From a decades-old military alliance to deep economic ties and a large and vibrant Korean-American community, the linkages between the United States and Korea remain as important as ever. Among a range of other issues, the webinar will examine lessons learned from President Trump’s approach to North Korea and what aspects of that approach the incoming Biden administration can or should maintain; how both diplomacy and defense are mutually reinforcing when it comes to the US-South Korea alliance's approach to North Korea; and the prospects and challenges for diplomacy in 2021 and beyond amidst COVID-19, a rapidly shifting strategic environment and changing US leadership. 



Lt. General (Ret.) Chun In-Bum
ROK Army Retired

Gen. Chun In-Bum graduated from the Korea Military Academy. He commanded the ROK Special Forces and retired in 2016 with the rank of Lieutenant General. Gen. Chun studied at the US Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk VA and the US Army War College, Carlisle PA where he received a Masters Degree in Military Strategy. He also has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Kyungnam University, Korea. He was a fellow with the Brookings institution, USKI at SAIS and the Sam-Nunn School of International Affairs in Georgia Tech, GA. Gen. Chun is the most highly decorated Korean officer since the Vietnam war with a US Bronze Star, three US Legion of Merits and the only Korean to receive the USSOCOM Medal and numerous Korean citations.

Col. (Ret.) Steve Lee
US Army Retired
Senior Vice President of Operations
Korea Defense Veterans Association

Steve is a Korea expert with 22 years of experience as an Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/US Forces Command (UNC/CFC/USFK), Joint Staff, Army Staff, US Embassy-Seoul, Defense Intelligence Agency, 101st Airborne Division, and 2nd Infantry Division. He has been interviewed on NBC’s The Today Show and FOX News, and lectured at the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Ewha Woman’s University, and Korea National Defense University. He has participated in numerous panels about the ROK-US Alliance and briefed the US Vice President and Secretary of Defense, ROK Minister of National Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, NATO Secretary General, Dutch Prime Minister, and Members of the US Congress. Steve was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from West Point, received a Master’s in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia, and a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He is a graduate of the ROK Army College.

Jenny Town
Fellow at Stimson
Deputy Director of Stimson’s 38 North

Jenny was named one of Worth Magazine’s “Groundbreakers 2020: 50 Women Changing the World” and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2019 for her role in co-founding and managing 38 North, a website devoted to providing policy and technical analysis on North Korea. Ms. Town is the former Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where she focused on North Korea, US-DPRK relations, US-ROK alliance, and Northeast Asia regional security. She is an expert reviewer for Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, where she previously worked on the Human Rights in North Korea Project. She is an Associate Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at SAIS, a Member of the National Committee on North Korea, and an Associate Member of the Council of Korean Americans. She serves on the Editorial Board for Inkstick, an online foreign policy journal for emerging scholars. Ms. Town holds a BA in East Asian Studies and International Relations from Westmar University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


Clint Work
Fellow with the Stimson Center
Appointed to its Security for a New Century and 38 North programs

Clint leads congressional engagement on Korean peace and security issues and engages in various research projects centered on the US-ROK alliance and US-DPRK relations. Prior to joining Stimson, he was an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Asia Campus in Incheon, South Korea, where he taught courses on the Korean War and International Relations. He holds a Doctorate in International Studies from the University of Washington, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston College. His Ph.D. work centered on US-Korea relations and President Jimmy Carter’s failed withdrawal of US combat forces from South Korea. In addition to his academic publications, he has written extensively for popular media, including the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Diplomat Magazine, The National Interest, 38 North, and Sino-NK. He has presented on US-Korea relations in both academic and public fora as well as briefed State and Defense Department officials and congressional staffers on a bipartisan basis.

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