Joint Annual Conference 2007
“Impending Changes on the Korean Peninsula and the Future of U.S.-Korean Relations
Joint Annual Conference 2007 of ICKS-KAUPA
June 28, 2007
“The Change in Paradigm for US-Asia Relations:
A Socio-cultural Perspective”
The New Challenges we face today in East Asia
For all the talk of the nuclear programs of North Korea and the threat of terrorism we have been severely distracted from the equally serious threats that we face in East Asia which are growing daily and may well eclipse all other concerns in the years to come. The need to rethink our paradigm for security in East Asia is a pressing issue for all of us. Nevertheless, the well-established models and assumptions about what the very term “East Asia” means, based on a familiar nation-state paradigm, obscure more than they illuminate. We must put forth a new model for how individuals, organizations, societies and economies function today that takes into account the impact of economic and technological linkage, the results of a run-away consumer society, and the threat of environmental and atmospheric degradation.
We need to give serious thought to the shifts within the basic relations between individuals, corporations, states and non-government players. That does not mean that nation states have disappeared, but rather that the relationship between the elements of which they consist has been fundamentally altered. Moreover, those alterations are so profound as to be essentially invisible to most observers. If we were to create a map based upon where exactly where products are manufactured, how they are distributed and where they are consumed, it would be an accurate description of how the global economy works, but would be entirely alien to almost all observers. By the same token, the patterns by which pollution spreads through the oceans and the atmosphere, the consequences of over-fishing, the impact of climate change on agriculture and the pressures of population growth are equally as obscure as they are critical.
New Security Concerns in Asia Pastreich East West Center 2007