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  • Author: Kook-Shin Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The launching of the Kim Dae-jung administration in February 1998 signified drastic changes in the erstwhile ROK policy toward North Korea. President Kim adopted a flexible policy toward North Korea, the so-called sunshine policy. The policy is based on three principles: 1) deterrence of armed aggression, 2) rejection of unification through absorption, and 3) realization of reconciliation and cooperation. President Kim Dae-jung has been consistent in carrying out his sunshine policy despite the provocative actions of North Korea (DPRK), such as the submarine incursion and missile launch a few years ago. The purpose has been to create a favorable environment for the government-level talks between the two Koreas to take place.
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: George H. Quester
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Korean War, as a model for the possibilities of limited war which hovered in the background for the entire Cold War, has inevitably drawn conflicting interpretations. Now that the Cold War is over, now that a half-century has passed since the Korean War, we ought to be able to sort and evaluate these interpretations.
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Kwang-Soo Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: No war in modern history is so obscure about its beginning as the Korean War. From the very first day of the war, both the North Korean and the South Korean governments accused the opponent of being guilty of an invasion. In the early morning of June 25, 1950, the North Korean government charged that the South Korean Army had made a surprise attack into its territory by 1-2 km across the 38th parallel at four points, the west of Haeju (Ongjin), the direction of Kumchon (Kaesong), the direction of Chorwon (Yonchon and Pochon), and Yangyang, and announced a counterattack to repulse the attack.1 The South Korean government announced on that day that the North Korean Army had invaded all along the 38th parallel at dawn. Based on the South Korean Army's reports, Ambassador Muccio reported to the U. S. government that the North Korean Army invaded the South by bombarding Ongjin around 4 o'clock in the morning and began to cross the 38th parallel at Ongjin, Kaesung, Chunchon, and the East Coast. In the United Nations, the U. S. government condemned the North Korean government for unlawfully invading South Korea and made a move to admonish North Korea to take back its army.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Chang-Il Ohn
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Immediately before the Japanese surrender in the Pacific War (1941-5), there was one Korea, though it had been under Japanese colonial rule for 36 years. The 38th parallel, which the American policymakers hastily picked out as the operational boundary between U.S. and Soviet troops in the Far East at the last stage of the Pacific War, divided one Korea into the two, North and South.1 Soviet troops occupied North Korea, Americans entered the South, and the two sides began military occupation in the two Koreas. The latitude, which Washington policymakers conceived to be a temporary line to halt the further southward advance of Soviet troops and thereby physically eliminate the possibility of Soviet participation in the Japanese occupation, and to facilitate the process of establishing a Korean government "in due course," however, began to embrace new political and military connotations. The two Koreas, even on a temporary basis, thus appeared. The status of and situations in the two Koreas were almost the same at the beginning of the military occupations. In both parts of Korea, people were very poor mainly because of the harsh Japanese mobilization for conducting the Pacific War. There were neither major factories, nor organized indigenous troops, nor influential political groups except the strong popular desire to establish a Korean government right away. Almost every well-informed Korean had a distinctive idea about the future of Korea and the nature of its government. As a result, "too many" political organizations and parties were formed, and, especially, the American military government judged that the Koreans were "too much" politicized. All in all, the situations in the two parts of Korea were almost identical as much as the status of being the occupied. The policies and strategies of the two occupiers—the United States and the Soviet Union—toward Korea, however, were different. Despite the wartime agreement with the United States that Korea should be independent "in due course," which meant that a Korean government should be established after the period of multinational trusteeship, the Soviet Union was not enthusiastic about the idea of multi-tutorship for Korea. Instead, the Soviet authority was busy in communizing the northern half of Korea, trying to make it a stronghold for securing the entire Korean peninsula. The Chief Soviet Delegate, Colonel General T. F. Shtykov, made it clear, at the Joint Commission convened in Seoul on March 20, 1946, that Korea should be "loyal to the Soviet Union, so that it will not become a base for an attack on the Soviet Union" in the future.2 This Soviet position was directly contrary to the primary objective of the United States in Korea, that is, "to prevent Russian domination of Korea."3 Unable to find a compromised solution on Korea through the Joint Commission, the United States internationalized the Korean issue by turning it over to the United Nations. The Soviet Union, however, did not accept the U.N. resolution that a Korean government would be established through holding a general election throughout Korea, and the Soviet authority in North Korea rejected the entry of U.N. representatives. As a result, the two Korean governments were created, one in the South blessed by the United Nations and the other in the North brewed by the Soviet Union, in August and September 1948 respectively.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Washington, South Korea, North Korea, Soviet Union, Korea
  • Author: William Stueck
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: "By strategy," John Lewis Gaddis wrote in his seminal book Strategies of Containment, "I mean quite simply the process by which ends are related to means, intentions to capabilities, objectives to resources."1 My intention here is to employ this definition in examining the American course in Korea from the origin of the war there in the country's division in 1945 to the aftermath of fighting in 1953. My approach is to analyze a series of key US decisions, from the one to divide the peninsula at the 38th parallel in August 1945 to the ones to conclude a military pact with the Republic of Korea and to issue a "greater sanctions" statement immediately following an armistice in July 1953. My argument is that it took a destructive war before US policymakers successfully matched ends and means in Korea in a manner that ensured future stability. Unfortunately, though, that congruence also ensured indefinite division.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Bin Yu
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In the past decade or two, China's military operation during the Korean War (1950-1953) has been extensively documented in both English and Chinese literatures."
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Jong Won Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The three-year long Korean War (June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953) devastated both South and North Korean economies. It broke out when the two Koreas barely managed to maintain socio-economic stability and restore pre-WWII industry production capability to some extent. The distorted and exploited economy by Imperial Japan was demolished by the brutal war. It started out as the appearance of a civil war, but in effect was carried out as an international war. Thus, it was a severe and hard-fought one between UN forces (including South Korea and 16 other nations) and North Korea and its allies (China and USSR). Although it took place in a small country in Far-Eastern Asia, it developed into a crash between world powers, East and West, and left treacherous and incurable wounds to both Koreas. Nearly four million people were presumed dead, and much worse were the property and industrial facility damages.1 Its impact on the Korean economy was so immense that consequential economic systems and policies re-framed the course of economic development in the following years. In spite of such enormous impacts of the Korean war on the economy, few studies exist. Of those that do, most are centered around describing or estimating war-related damages, while some focus on the long-term effects of US aid on the Korean economy.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Thong Whan Park
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Like all major wars of attrition, the Korean War brought devastation to the natural and human landscapes of the entire Korean peninsula. Not only did the individuals suffer, but also the social fabric that had held the nation together was irreparably damaged. Not exempt from the ravages of the war, politics also had to undergo transition. It hence makes sense to ask the question of what impact the war made on Korean politics. Seen from a short-term perspective, the war forced each side to taste the governing style of the opposite side—albeit with a strong military touch in both. During the first three months of the war, for instance, the South was occupied by the northern forces and ruled in "people's democracy." In the subsequent few months of northward march after the Inchon landing, the allied forces controlled the restored areas under "liberal democracy." In the period immediately following the 1953 armistice, the politics of each Korea saw post-war adjustments, the most pronounced of which was the bloody purge in the North of potential challengers to Kim II Sung.
  • Political Geography: Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Eui Hang Shin
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Korean War was among the world's most destructive wars, in proportion to the population. During the war, the population of South Korea declined by nearly two million, excluding an influx of nearly 650,000 North Korean refugees. During the same period, about 290,000 South Koreans migrated to North Korea, either by force or by choice.1 Redistribution of the South Korean population continued on a large scale even into the immediate post-war years.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Choong Nam Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The South Korean military was a victim as well as a beneficiary of the Korean War. By the time of the outbreak of the war, the military was a fledgling force, dreadfully inferior in equipment and training. The military was almost crushed within a few days of the war. Ironically, the war transformed and strengthened the military; the infantile and immature Korean military became trained, equipped, and combat-experienced. Quantitatively, the military grew to be one of the largest militaries in the world; qualitatively, the third-rate "police reserve" became a modern professional military. Within the society, the military became the most Westernized and influential institution. In other words, the Korean War was a painful catalyst for the development of a strong Korean military.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Korea