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  • Author: Robert Sutter
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese-American Rivalry in Korea—A New "Great Game"?There has been considerable discussion in Washington, Beijing and Seoul in recent years about an emerging competition between the United States and China for influence in the Korean peninsula in general and in South Korea in particular. Some in China have voiced concern over alleged U.S. efforts to hold back and "contain" China's rising power and influence in East Asia. They have been impressed by the recent "gains" in U.S. influence with North Korea. Indeed, from their perspectives, the North Koreans have moved away from their traditionally antagonistic stance toward the United States to a foreign policy approach that appears to give top priority to reaching an arrangement with Washington that would allow for the continued survival of the North Korean regime, or at least a so-called "soft landing" for the increasingly troubled government. A possible scenario contrary to these Chinese analysts interests would see the end of the North Korean regime and the reunification of the peninsula by South Korea under arrangements carried out under the guidance and overall influence of the United States, with the support of Japan. In the view of such Chinese officials, such an arrangement would confront China with a major security problem in a crucial area of Chinese concern for the foreseeable future, gready weakening China's ability to exert power and influence in Asian and world affairs. It would give Americans interested in "containing" China a much more advantageous strategic position in East Asia than they now possess.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Thomas W. Robinson
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Domestic and International Determinants of Chinese Foreign Policy The period beginning with the Tiananmen Incident of June 1989 initiated the third period of Chinese foreign policy. The first coincided with the rule of Mao Zedong, 1949-1976, and the second extended, after a brief interregnum, from Deng Xiaoping's return to power in 1978 to the Beijing disturbances on 1989. While each period naturally exhibited its own special characteristics, all shared a set of three domestic and three international categories of determinants. To understand those of the post-Tiananmen period, one must inspect, for comparative purposes, those of the first two eras as well. In each era, it is clear that domestic determinants predominated, configuring not only the general direction of foreign policy but much of the specific content. The six determinants influenced Chinese policy toward the Korean peninsula as well, and it is therefore useful to provide a brief sketch in each instance.
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Jane Shapiro Zacek
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This essay considers Soviet and then Russian relations with North and South Korea since 1988, which was a watershed year for Soviet policy toward northeast Asia. By that time, the Soviet leadership had reassessed basic ideological and security interests as well as the country's growing domestic economic needs. While the Communist Party was still in power and Mikhail Gorbachev was still General Secretary of the Central Committee (a position he had assumed upon the death of Konstantin Chernenko in March 1985), Marxist-Leninist ideology was playing an everdecreasing role in Party politics and policymaking. By 1987, Gorbachev began to stress the critical need to shift primary political power and the policymaking process from the Party to state institutions. He also emphasized the necessity of revamping the Soviet economy, which would be costly and would need foreign assistance. By 1988, the international communist movement, with the Soviet Union at its head, no longer was of interest to the Soviet leader. Rather, he was looking to reconfirm his country's role as a great power in the international arena, a power that could not be ignored in any regional political turmoil and subsequent settlement, whether in Africa, the Middle East, or Northeast Asia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, South Korea, Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Young Whan Kihl
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The unification policies of North and South Korea have changed little from the days of the cold war era in both official lines and basic premise. The "new detente" between the two Koreas, which was to follow from the planned summitry between South Korean President Kim Young Sam and North Korean President Kim II Sung, was the casualty of the latter's sudden death in July 1994. Since then, instead of working toward peace, the frigid cold war atmosphere has returned to the Korean peninsula. Implementation of the historic Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between the South and the North, signed 13 December 1991 and promulgated on 19 February 1992, has also proven to be more difficult than anticipated. Not surprisingly, the strategic goals of Seoul and Pyongyang remain far apart and irreconcilable despite official posturing and rhetoric.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea