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Korea's terrible DC blunder

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Korea's terrible DC blunder

By John Burton

The Korean government has done itself a great disservice in cutting funding to the U.S.-Korea Institute (USKI), which will force the think tank's closure. There is no upside, only downside in the decision.

With this one action, the Moon administration has alienated the close-knit and influential "Korea watchers" community in Washington, D.C. at a time when it needs its support as Seoul prepares for the upcoming South Korean and U.S. summits with North Korea.

There is already skepticism about the Moon administration among many U.S. experts on Korea. Most of these analysts have national security backgrounds in government, including working at the Defense Department, the CIA and the National Security Council, and adopt a conservative and hawkish position on Korean issues.

In contrast, USKI, which is housed at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., is known as being one of the few liberal U.S. institutions on Korean affairs, which makes the Moon administration's decision even more inexplicable.

As a former U.S. nuclear negotiator with North Korea and dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Robert Gallucci, the USKI chairman, is widely respected within the Korean analyst community.........

© The Korea Times