Northeast Asia at a Crossroads:
Insights from Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo
In December 2022, the NCAFP sent a high-level delegation of former U.S. officials to Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo for meetings with officials and other counterparts. This was the NCAFP's first trip to Northeast Asia since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions. Some of the major takeaways and recommendations from the trip include:
- Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had a profound impact on security perspectives in Northeast Asia; and the growing alignment among Moscow, Beijing, and Pyongyang has become a major cause of concern for leaders in Northeast Asia.
- With the reopening of travel and flights across the Taiwan Strait, the NCAFP urges increased direct people-to-people exchanges across the Strait. The Chinese Mainland should also find a way to open communication channels with Taiwan before Tsai Ing-wen leaves office.
- To address concerns that the focus on denuclearization with respect to the DPRK is shifting, the U.S., Japan, and the ROK should work together to better explain why denuclearization must remain the ultimate goal of any negotiation.
- There is lingering concern in the region about the reliability of continued U.S. engagement, forward defense, extended deterrence, and international economic leadership, mostly due to high uncertainty surrounding the U.S. domestic political situation and perceived lack of national consensus.