POSTPONED | Ambassador Series | ROK Ambassador Ahn Ho-young | APR 25


As of April 23rd this event has been postponed.

The ROK Embassy has advised us that Ambassador Ahn Ho-young will not be able to travel to Nashville on April 25th. We regret the postponement of this program and will advise all concerned when it is reset.

Please make sure you advise all friends, family and colleagues you may have contacted about this program that it has been postponed.

Thank you.


Democracy Demands Global Literacy





World Affairs Council – Town Hall

Republic of Korea Ambassador to the United States

Ahn Ho-young

US-Republic of Korea Relations and Korea-Tennessee Economic Developments

APRIL 25, 2017

Presented by the Tennessee World Affairs Council and Belmont University’s Center for International Business

In Association With Program Partner Hankook Tire America Corporation, Nashville

5:30 p.m. Registration/Networking/Reception

6:00 p.m. Program

Belmont University

Beaman Meeting Room, Curb Events Center

Building #26 on Campus Map (Link)

Parking Available – Curb Center Garage #25

Registration: $10 Suggested Donation for Non-Members of TNWAC

Free to Members of TNWAC and Belmont Students and Faculty

Make sure you’re signed up with the TNWAC email list (signup on to receive details and RSVP info.

His Excellency Ahn Ho-young

Ambassador Ahn previously served as first vice minister of foreign affairs and trade (2012-13), ambassador to Belgium and head of the Korean Mission to the European Union (2011-12), and deputy minister for trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) from 2008 to 2011, during which time he was the president’s sherpa for the G-20 and G8 outreach meetings.

Republic of Korea Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young and Tennessee World Affairs Council President Patrick Ryan at the WACA National Conference.

Other postings in MOFAT include director-general of the Multilateral Trade Bureau (2003-04) and director of the International Trade Law Division in the Office of the Minister for Trade (2002-03). He was also an adjunct professor in law and diplomacy at Korea University from 2006 to 2008, before which he was director-general of the Economic Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Finance and Economy from 2004 to 2006.

In addition, Ambassador Ahn was a counselor for the Korean Permanent Delegation to the World Trade Organization in Switzerland (1998-2002); counselor for the Korean Delegation to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in France (1996-98); director of the International Trade Division III in the International Trade Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994-96); and director of the Treaties Division II in the Treaties Bureau of the ministry (1993-94).

In the early part of his career, Ambassador Ahn, who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978, served as second secretary to the Korean Embassy in India (1984-90) and as first secretary in the Korean Embassy in the United States (1990-93).

Ambassador Ahn, born July 5, 1956, graduated from the Department of International Relations at Seoul National University and from the Graduate School of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


The implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) has created exciting new opportunities for Tennessee businesses and communities. Removing tariffs on goods and restrictions on services, the strengthened U.S.-Korea economic partnership is spurring business growth, creating jobs, opening new markets and providing access to a larger pool of consumers. Click on the link to learn more about Tennessee’s trade with Korea. 


The United States and Korea’s Joseon Dynasty established diplomatic relations under the 1882 Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, and the first U.S. diplomatic envoy arrived in Korea in 1883. U.S.-Korea relations continued until 1905, when Japan assumed direction over Korean foreign affairs. In 1910, Japan began a 35-year period of colonial rule over Korea. Following Japan’s surrender in 1945, at the end of World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel into two occupation zones, with the United States in the South and the Soviet Union in the North. Initial hopes for a unified, independent Korea were not realized, and in 1948 two separate nations were established — the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) in the South, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North. In 1949, the United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces invaded the R.O.K.. Led by the United States, a United Nations coalition of 16 countries undertook its defense. Following China’s entry into the war on behalf of North Korea later that year, a stalemate ensued for the final two years of the conflict until an armistice was concluded on July 27, 1953. A peace treaty has never been signed. In 1953, at the conclusion of the Korean War, the United States and the Republic of Korea signed a Mutual Defense Treaty, the foundation of a comprehensive alliance that endures today.

In the decades after the war, the R.O.K. experienced political turmoil under autocratic leadership, but developed a vocal civil society that led to strong protests against authoritarian rule. Pro-democracy activities intensified in the 1980s and the R.O.K. began the transition to what is now a vibrant, democratic system. U.S.-R.O.K. ties are based on common values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

The United States and the R.O.K. share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on shared values and interests. The two countries work together to combat regional and global threats and to strengthen their economies. The United States has maintained Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine personnel in the R.O.K. in support of its commitment under the U.S.-R.O.K. Mutual Defense Treaty to help the R.O.K. defend itself against external aggression. In 2013, the two countries celebrated the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-R.O.K. alliance. A Combined Forces Command coordinates operations between U.S. units and R.O.K. armed forces. The United States and the R.O.K. coordinate closely on the North Korean nuclear issue and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As the R.O.K.’s economy has developed (it joined the OECD in 1996), trade and investment ties have become an increasingly important aspect of the U.S.-R.O.K. relationship.

In recent years, the U.S.-R.O.K. alliance has expanded into a deep, comprehensive global partnership, and the R.O.K.’s role as a regional and global leader continues to grow. The R.O.K. hosted the 2010 G-20 Summit, the 2011 Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, the 2013 Seoul Conference on Cyberspace, and the 2014 International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference. In 2017, the R.O.K. will assume the chairmanship of the Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group. The R.O.K. is a committed member of various international nonproliferation regimes, including the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). The R.O.K. has pledged more than half a billion dollars towards development efforts including $100 million to the Global Health Security Agenda, $200 million to its Better Life for Girls initiative, and $100 million in additional humanitarian assistance over the next three above its annual $44 million contribution.

The emergence of the R.O.K. as a global leader has led to an increasingly dynamic U.S.-R.O.K. Alliance focused on future-oriented partnership opportunities including space, energy, health, climate change, and cyber. The United States and R.O.K. renewed in 2015 the Civil Nuclear “123” Agreement and maintain a High-Level Bilateral Commission to address civil nuclear issues of mutual interest. Our two countries signed in 2016 a Civil Space Framework Agreement to increase cooperation in civil space exploration and we hold biennial cabinet-level Joint Committee Meetings on science and technology. The R.O.K. is an active partner on efforts combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, and is working to establish a World Fisheries University.

People-to-people ties between the United States and the R.O.K. have never been stronger. The R.O.K., on a per capita basis, sends the highest number of students to the United States to study of any industrialized country. Educational exchanges include a vibrant Fulbright exchange program as well as the Work, English Study, and Travel (WEST) program that gives a diverse group of Korean students the opportunity to learn more about the United States.

U.S. Assistance to the Republic of Korea

The United States provides no development assistance to the R.O.K.. The R.O.K., a recipient of U.S. assistance in the years after the Korean War, is a development aid donor today.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Over the past several decades, the R.O.K. has achieved a remarkably high level of economic growth and is now the United States’ sixth-largest goods trading partner with a trillion-dollar economy. Major U.S. firms have long been leading investors, while the R.O.K.’s top firms have made significant investments in the United States. There are large-scale flows of manufactured goods, agricultural products, services, and technology between the two countries. The landmark Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) entered into force on March 15, 2012, underscoring the depth of bilateral trade ties. Under KORUS, 95 percent of all goods are duty free. In 2015, the two-way trade in goods amounted to $113.8 billion, and $33.4 billion in services. The agreement has boosted exports by billions of dollars annually for both sides and created new export-related jobs in both the R.O.K. and the United States.

The Republic of Korea’s Membership in International Organizations

The R.O.K. and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, G-20, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The R.O.K. hosts the Green Climate Fund, an international organization associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The R.O.K. also is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires is Marc Knapper; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

The R.O.K. maintains an embassy in the United States at 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-5600).

More information about South Korea is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State South Korea Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook South Korea Page
International Travel Information for South Korea
U.S. Embassy Seoul, South Korea
U.S. American Presence Post Busan
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, DC
U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement
U.S. Forces Korea
Human Rights Reports 
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information


Presented by the Tennessee World Affairs Council and Belmont University’s Center for International Business

In Association With Program Partner Hankook Tire America Corporation, Nashville

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan educational charity based in Nashville that works to build understanding of global issues in our communities. Learn more about the Council and find how you can join, donate and volunteer at:  — Join / Donate / Volunteer

tnwac logo jan15 300