‘U.S. FOCUS ON
Panellist says it should strengthen ties with Southeast Asian nations
BEATRICE NITA JAY AND MASRIWANIE MUHAMADING KUALA LUMPUR email@example.com
THE United States must continue to give its commitment to the security of Northeast Asia and resolve issues concerning the nuclear weapon threat posed by North Korea.
Seoul National University Professor Emeritus Yoon YoungKwan said the US should also maintain and strengthen bilateral relationships with Southeast Asian countries.
“A strong commitment from the US will also lead to economic development (in the countries). My second recommendation is for the US to continue to gather resources to resolve the North Korea nuclear problem.”
Yoon was one of three panellists at a session at the 31st Asia Pacific Roundtable Discussion titled “In Conversation: Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia”.
Presenting the Northeast Asian point of view, he said this in response to a question from the floor of the discussion, organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Isis) Malaysia.
The panellists were asked for recommendations for US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in the region.
India’s Observer Research Foundation Distinguished Fellow, Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, who represented the South Asian point of view, urged the US to come up with a better, balanced strategy in dealing with terrorism issues in the region.
“(This is) because you don’t try to get Afghanistan without actually dealing with Pakistan (on terrorism issues)... it does not work, because most organisations in Afghanistan are based in Pakistan. It has to be a holistic approach,” he said, adding that a weak strategy may lead to undesirable situations.
Presenting the Southeast Asian point of view, Thailand Isis director Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak urged the US to maintain continuity and consistency with its engagement in the region.
Earlier, US Foreign and Defence Policy Studies vice-president Dr James Jay Carafano said he was optimistic that Pyongyang was not capable of threatening the US, despite claiming to have nuclear weapons.
He said the US did not need to change its policies and principles for North Korea as they were far more capable and powerful than the North Asian country.
“The nuclear provocation by North Korea does not threaten us. The capability of the US military and defence has been proven effective in dealing with any form of threat,” he said.
Carafano said this in response to a question during the first plenary session of the roundtable discussion titled “New Major Power Relations and Dynamics in the Asia Pacific”.
He was among the three panelists of the session, which was chaired by Isis Malaysia chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa.
(From left) Thailand Isis director Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak; senior director of International Relations Programmes, the US, John Brandon; Professor Emeritus of Seoul International University and former South Korean foreign minister, Professor Yoon Young-Kwan; and Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation of India, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, at the 31st Asia-Pacific Roundtable yesterday.