The United States in briefCapital: Washington, D.C.
Population: 320 million
Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%
Area: 3.79 million square miles
U.S. Forces Korea service
Korean students in the United States: 63,710 (2014-15)
U.S. students in Korea: 3,219
Korean visitors to the United States: 1.3 million annually
U.S. visitors to Korea: 700,000
The United States and Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) 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. After World War II, in 1949, the United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.
Four years of free trade
This year, Korea and the United States celebrates the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement’s implementation. Korea is the United States’ sixth-largest two-way trading partner, while the United States is Korea’s second largest, according to 2014 statistics. Korean exports to United States in 2014 amounted to $69.61 billion, and U.S. exports to Korea totaled $44.54 billion.
Meanwhile, Korean investment in the United States in 2014 totaled $36.1 billion. U.S. investment in Korea amounted to $34.9 billion that year.
As senior vice president of external affairs at UnitedHealth Group, Robyn Lippert focuses on effectively positioning the Fortune 500 health care company with key audiences. Lippert has been with the company since 2009. Her previous experience in the private sector includes working in government and industry relations at Fannie Mae and the Glover Park Group, a strategic communications firm. Lippert has also worked on various political campaigns, including as a state director for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. She graduated from the University of Vermont.
Lippert gave birth to her first child at Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Seodaemun District, northwestern Seoul, in January 2015 and named him James William Sejun Lippert.
Sejun is a Korean middle name that roughly translates to “honest, insightful and talented.”
Mark Lippert became ambassador to Korea in October 2014. He previously held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Defense from May 2012 until September 2014, including as chief of staff to former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Before joining the department, he completed a two-year mobilization on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He also served as a foreign policy adviser for President Barack Obama. Lippert’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and holds an M.A. in international policy studies from the same institution. He also studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking University.