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From Security Threats to Emerging Tech: U.S-Japan-South Korean Trilateral Relations

February 28, 2024

At the historic Trilateral Leaders’ Summit at Camp David in August of 2023, US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida released a set of joint statements committing to reenergize existing trilateral mechanisms and establish new and more robust forms of trilateral cooperation across a range of areas in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Yet, despite the celebratory commentary following the Camp David summit, much remained to be done as policymakers in Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington had to turn commitments – and sometimes aspiration – into concrete cooperation and outcomes.

Join the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) in partnership with Center for Korea Studies (CKS) on Wednesday, March 27, from 5-9pm PT in Kane Hall’s Walker-Ames Room for a two-part panel series which will examine trilateral cooperation in several key areas. Bringing together experts from all three countries, the two panels will explore, respectively, trilateral security cooperation in regard to North Korea and the broader Indo-Pacific region as well as trilateral cooperation on economic security, emerging technologies, and development finance. Each panel will take a closer look at the key commitments made at the Camp David Summit, critically examine what has been achieved thus far, explore areas where more concrete cooperation can occur, and highlight important challenges that stand in the way of future progress.

This event is open to the public and will be followed by a catered reception. To register, please scan the QR code below or visit our Ticketleap page here. The panels will be livestreamed via Zoom here. To view online, please click here:

Panel 1: Trilateral Security Cooperation toward North Korea & Beyond  



Professor Yasuyo Sakata is professor of international relations at the Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Japan. She specializes in Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia/Indo-Pacific security, with a focus on the U.S.-ROK alliance and U.S.-ROK-Japan security cooperation. She is a research fellow at the Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS, Tokyo). She was a member of the RIPS Security Studies Program  (1992-94), research fellow at the Institute of Modern Korean Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies at Yonsei University (2008-09) and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University (2014). She has participated in various seminars and projects such as those at the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA), the Tokyo Foundation, Japan-Korea Forum,  Pacific Forum CSIS, Council on Foreign Relations, RAND, the Stimson Center and the National Security Archives (Washington, D.C.). She is also a member of the MOD Central Deliberative Council on Defense Facilities, NHK World Deliberative Committee. She received her B.A. and M.A. in political science from Keio University.

Dr. Alex Soohoon LEE is an associate research fellow at Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA). Prior to his current position at KIDA, Dr. Lee was a Global Korean Studies (GKS) research professor at the Division of International Studies, Korea University. His research interests have been focused primarily on the issues of international security, ROK-US alliance, the US foreign and security policy, and ROK-US-Japan trilateral security cooperation. Dr. Lee recently authored and co-authored “The Taiwan Strait and the ROK-U.S. Alliance,” (The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 2023), Biden Administration’s Indo-Pacific Security and Defense Policy (KIDA Press, 2022), “Security and Defence Policy” in The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics (Oxford University Press, 2022) and “South Korea and the 2016 US Presidential Elections: A Security-Trade Nexus Redefined?” in American Presidential Elections in a Comparative Perspective: The World is Watching (Lexington Books, 2019). Dr. Lee holds a B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies from Lehigh University, received a Global M.B.A. from Business School and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) of Korea University.


Dr. Jeffrey Hornung is Japan lead of the National Security Research Divison and senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He specializes in Japanese security and foreign policies, East Asian security issues, and U.S. foreign and defense policies in the Indo-Pacific region, including its alliances. Prior to joining RAND in April 2017, Hornung was the fellow for the Security and Foreign Affairs Program at Sasakawa USA from 2015 until 2017. From 2010 until 2015, Hornung worked as an associate professor for the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a Department of Defense education facility in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hornung has written extensively about Japanese security and foreign policy issues and broader Northeast Asia security issues for numerous media, policy, and academic outlets. This includes Washington Quarterly, Asian Survey, Foreign Policy, New York Times, Washington Post, War on the Rocks and many others, including the two major Japanese dailies Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun. Hornung received his Ph.D. in political science from The George Washington University, where he wrote his thesis on Japanese decisionmaking to send the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq War. During 2005–2006, Hornung was also a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo where he conducted his doctoral research as a Fulbright Fellow. He also holds an M.A. in international relations with a concentration in Japan Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Dr. Clint Work is a Fellow and Director of Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI). In addition to his work on KEI’s publications and publication-related programs, Clint leads KEI’s University Outreach and conducts research, writing, and public engagement focused on US-Korea relations. Before joining KEI, Clint served as a Fellow in the Henry L. Stimson Center’s 38 North Program from 2020-2022, where he focused on issues related to the US-ROK alliance transformation, led Congressional engagement about peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and organized and moderated a military working group centered on North Korea’s evolving “checkerboard” threat. He also worked with a broad range of universities and state and local organizations throughout the country to foster public engagement on US-Korea relations. Prior to joining Stimson, Dr. Work was an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Asia Campus in South Korea and the regular foreign policy writer for The Diplomat Magazine’s Koreas page. He holds a Doctorate in International Studies from the University of Washington and a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and his work focuses on the Korean Peninsula, US-Korean relations, East Asia, and US foreign policy. He is currently writing on the history and evolution of the US force presence on the Korean Peninsula and the US-ROK alliance transformation in the post-Cold War era. 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, War on the Rocks, 38 North, and Sino-NK. He regularly provides commentary to U.S. and foreign media outlets, such as The Economist, Time Magazine, NPR, and Arirang News.

Panel 2: Trilateral Cooperation on Economic Security, Technology & Development Finance


Dr. Jessica C. Liao is an associate professor of political science at NC State University and 2020-2021 Wilson China Fellow. She spent the past two and a half years in Beijing and throughout 2022, served as an economic development specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing where she covered China’s relations with Belt and Road Initiative countries. Prior to NC State, she taught at George Washington University and was a visit fellow at Monash University, Kuala Lumpur campus. She received her PhD in international relations from the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and East Asian politics.

Troy Stangarone is Senior Director and Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI). He oversees KEI’s trade and economic related initiatives, as well as the Institute’s relations with Capitol Hill and the Washington, DC trade community. As part of his broader portfolio he serves as the editor for KEI’s flagship publication, Korea’s Economy, and oversees KEI’s blog, The Peninsula. Mr. Stangarone has written extensively and has been widely quoted on U.S.-Korea relations, South Korean trade and foreign policy, and North Korea. His work has appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, CNBC, CNN, the South China Morning Post, East Asia Forum, China-US Focus, the JoongAng Ilbo, and the Korea Herald. His comments have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, CNN, Politico, Chosun Ilbo, Donga Ilbo, JoongAng Daily, and Yonhap News Service. He has also appeared on TV and radio for outlets such as Bloomberg News, CNBC Asia, and BBC Radio. In addition to his work at KEI, Mr. Stangarone is a member of the International Council of Korean Studies Board and the Korea-America Student Conference’s National Advisory Committee. He is a columnist for the Korea Times and a regular contributor to The Diplomat. He was also a 2012-2013 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in South Korea, sponsored by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Prior to joining KEI, Mr. Stangarone worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Robert Torricelli on issues relating to foreign affairs and trade. He also served as an aide to Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey. He holds a MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Memphis.


Clara Gillispie is an Advisor to the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). She also serves as the official U.S. delegate to the Energy Research Institute Network, an East Asia Summit-linked network whose inputs are designed to inform the formal East Asia Summit process. Ms. Gillispie’s subject-matter expertise covers topics ranging from technology policymaking to energy security to technology policymaking to geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific. She is the author of numerous policy essays and reports, including “South Korea’s 5G Ambitions” (2020), “U.S.-Australia Energy Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific” (2020), and “How Asia’s Auto Boom Shapes Its Energy Security Strategies” (co-authored with Laura Schwartz, 2019). Ms. Gillispie is regularly called on to directly brief her research and analysis to U.S. and Asian government officials, senior industry representatives, and the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR’s Marketplace. Her current research at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy focuses on the country’s efforts to combat online misinformation about public health. Previously, Ms. Gillispie served as a Senior Director for Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs at NBR. She was also a 2021 Visiting International Fellow at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, a 2020 International Visiting Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a 2019-20 Council on Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellow at Carnegie India, and a 2017–18 SAFE Energy Security Fellow. Earlier, Ms. Gillispie worked for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Technology, and Space; Detica Federal Inc. (now a part of BAE Systems); and the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Ms. Gillispie graduated from the London School of Economics and Peking University with a dual MSc in International Affairs. Prior to her graduate studies, she received a BS from Georgetown University and attended Sophia University in Tokyo for language training.


Dr. Marie Anchordoguy is a professor in the Jackson School of International Studies and specializes in the political economy of Japan. She currently holds the George Long Endowed Professorship. She received her undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research is focused primarily on the key institutions and policies of Japan’s capitalist system. Her first book was Computers, Inc.: Japan’s Challenge to IBM (Harvard University Press, 1989), which looked at Japan’s state and corporate efforts to build a computer hardware industry. Her next book, Reprogramming Japan: The High Tech Crisis Under Communitarian Capitalism (Cornell University Press, 2005) analyzed why Japan was slow to change its capitalist institutions even when there were clear economic reasons to do so. This book was also published in Japanese in 2011 as “Nihon Keizai no Sai-Sekkei: Kyodotai Shihon Shugi to Haiteku sangyo no mirai.” Anchordoguy is currently researching the political economy of entrepreneurship, venture capital, and high-tech start-ups in Japan. She has published a number of chapters in books and articles in journals such as Business History Review, Research Policy, International Organization, and The Political Science Quarterly. She has held fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Harvard University, the Japan Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, and the Center for Global Partnership. She has been Chair of the UW Japan Studies Program from 2000-2007, 2012-2014, and 2021-present. She was co-editor of The Journal of Japanese Studies from 2004 to 2015. Anchordoguy teaches an introductory course on contemporary Japan, and graduate and undergraduate courses on Japanese business and technology, Japan’s political economy, and several comparative courses, such as Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, and Asian Financial Systems. She has served on various boards and committees, such as the Blakemore Foundation, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, the Japan Policy Research Institute, the National Bureau of Asian Research’s US-Japan Discussion Forum, and the Social Science Research Council’s Abe Fellowship Program. She has been a visiting professor at Hitotsubashi University and Rikkyo University, and a Research Fellow at Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy in its Science and Technology Agency.