Special Lecture

[U.S.-Korea Relations Symposium] President Thomas Byrne of The Korea Society

U.S.-Korea Relations Symposium on “US-Korea Relations under the New US and ROK Administrations

Wednesday, July 19, 201715:00-17:00
KFAS Conference Hall

On July 19, 2017, Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies invited the delegation from The Korea Society to host a U.S.-Korea relations symposium titled “US-Korea Relations under the New US and ROK Administrations.” From the US side, former Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Thomas Hubbard, and President Thomas Byrne of The Korea Society joined the symposium. From the Korean side, Professor Kim Sung-han of Korea University and Professor Ahn Dukgeun of Seoul National University participated as discussants.

President Thomas Byrne of The Korea Society, former Senior Vice President at Moody’s Investor Services, provided an overview of Korea’s economic fundamentals. Noting that Korea no longer maintains a growth rate higher than the world average, he explicated the positive and the negative elements present in South Korea’s economy. On the positive side were ample monetary and fiscal policy space Korea maintains, a strong fiscal fundamental with relatively low debt, and a large amount of net assets accumulated after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. On the negative side were the high household debt, sluggish growth in global trade, and the acceleration of monetary policy normalization by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Lastly, he emphasized that the Bank of Korea has started to monitor the North Korean geopolitical risk, and pointed out that the cost of insuring a KTB has actually risen in 2017, implying that geopolitics could be a new factor weighing down on Korea’s annual growth rate.

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