California State University, Fullerton

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Korea's Success Due to American Exceptionalism

Ambassador Choi and Congressman Royce Lecture on Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy

Feb. 20, 2013

Ed Royce

Congressman Ed Royce ’77 (B.A. business administration- accounting)

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Marking the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Korean alliance, Y.J. Choi, ambassador of the Republic of Korea,
 lectured to more than 200 students and community members Feb. 20 during a campus visit arranged by Cal State Fullerton alumnus and Congressman Ed Royce ’77 (B.A. business administration- accounting).

Choi spoke about how trade agreements between America and South Korea have strengthened the nations’ relationship over the six decades since the armistice agreement was signed in 1953. He also addressed the rising power of China and how he believes conflict can be avoided through trade and commerce. And, regarding North Korea, Choi suggested that trade pacts, cooperation and diplomacy are the best tactics to pursue for future peace and prosperity on the peninsula.

“We are on the right track,” he said, adding that the U.S. and Korea stand at the forefront of a historic paradigm shift.

Paraphrasing H.G. Wells, Choi said and repeated: “From what we know of mankind, we are bound to conclude that human beings plundered whenever they could and traded when they had to.”

Plundering today “is impossible,” he said, adding that nations are evolving from “raid to trade” in international relations. Countries compete with each other in predominantly commercial, rather than military, arenas, he said.

The paradigm shift, Choi added, is bringing about change from independence to interdependence and from competition to cooperation.

Choi delivered his lecture in Mihaylo Hall, following remarks by Royce. The pair then answered student questions and Royce echoed Choi, saying that he too is optimistic about East Asia’s future.

The U.S.-Korean alliance “probably is the most important relationship that we have in Asia,” said Royce, who serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “It's 60 years this year that we have continued to work to strengthen this relationship.... It is truly remarkable how intertwined our economies have become. I believe in the old saying that where goods cross borders, armies do not.”

CSUF President Mildred García welcomed the ambassador and Royce to campus, in the city that has the second largest Korean American population in Orange County.

“This semester, we have more than 200 international students from Korea studying here,” García said, adding that six CSUF students are studying in Korea and that the university has strong ties to a number of Korean universities.

Among the guests who attended the ambassador’s lecture and reception on campus were Fullerton city officials including Mayor Bruce Whitaker, La Palma Mayor Steve Hwangbo and professors and students from CSUF and Hope International University.

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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