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  • Author: Patrick M. Morgan
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the ROK have had a very close association for more than fifty years, but in recent years that relationship has experienced considerable stress and strain. Many analysts now express great concern about its future prospects In fact, it is getting more difficult to defend the continued existence of the alliance. The strains are manifest and multiple. The two governments have been living with them for some time, with neither willing to make the strenuous efforts required to either reverse the deterioration or abandon the alliance as incompatible with their contemporary security concerns and perspectives. So the alliance is limping along. As is the security situation on the Korean peninsula that the alliance has existed to deal with – it is limping along as well.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Terence Roehrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: There is little doubt that portions of the strategic and economic paradigm in East Asia and for U.S.-East Asia relations have in general been changing in dramatic ways for the past ten to fifteen years. Several contributing factors are well known: China's economic rise along with the potential strategic and political role it is likely to play in the future; the possibility of a more assertive Japan that may revise its constitution in an effort to become a “normal” country; and South Korea, in possession of greater economic, military and political power accompanied by the confidence to be a more significant player in the region. Moreover, even the notion of “East Asia” may be less and less relevant as economic integration is no longer bound by old geographic delineations, particularly with the region's growing economic and political ties with Southeast Asia and India, ties that are breaking down some of these regional distinctions. Finally, the United States is facing a more confident and multipolar Asia that is organizing to play a greater role in controlling its future and increasingly will require a different approach than in the past.
  • Political Geography: United States, India, East Asia, Asia, Angola, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Yoon-Shik Park
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In October 2006, North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK in short) tested a nuclear bomb based on plutonium, thus proclaiming it to be a full member of the select nuclear bomb club. Whether the test was a resounding success or not is still not fully resolved, and the status of North Korea's uranium enrichment program is yet to be admitted by the DPRK government. Faced with strong international condemnation and a movement towards punitive sanctions coordinated by the United Nations, DPRK reached an agreement at the six party talks on February 13, 2007, under which DPRK eventually agreed to abandon its nuclear programs in return for aid. The accord implements a deal reached in September 2005, but the talks had stalled until early 2007. Paradoxically, a nuclear North Korea may lead to successful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and robust economic developments there. As the DPRK regime feels confident enough in security terms now that it is recognized as a nuclear club member, it can enter into a “big deal” with its main opposing powers, the United States, Japan and South Korea, for swapping its nuclear weapons program for an iron-clad security guarantee and massive economic assistance for the modernization of the DPRK economy.
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Kap Yun Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: At present, all signs seem to point in the direction of a conservative victory in the 17th presidential elections that will be held on December 19, 2007.1 President Roh Moo-hyun's job approval rating has been lower than 30%, and often below 20%, for more than two years, and his UP (Uri Party) is supported by barely 10% of the public. The opposition GNP (Grand National Party) has become by far the most popular party, enjoying more than 40% of the popular support. The economy has been in doldrums since 2002, slowing down to an annual growth of 4%, after an average annual growth of 7% in the preceding decade. Business and consumer confidence in the market is declining, gaps between the rich and the poor are ever more increasing, and unemployment among young people is steadily on the rise. North Korea's Kim Jong-il did not help Roh either. Despite the sincere and continuous provision of economic aid to the North by the Roh government, North Korea responded only by demanding more unconditional aid without taking any reciprocal measures to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the peninsula. The nationalistic public mood soured, in particular after a nuclear test by the North in 2006, and the people no longer wholeheartedly support Roh's conciliatory policy.
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Choong Nam Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea (Korea hereafter) has represented one of the most successful cases in the history of nation building. The country, known as “an East Asian model of economic prosperity and political democracy,” emerged as a modern nation in a single generation and under the most trying circumstances—the legacy of colonial rule, national division, the Korean War and continual confrontation with the Communist North. Its success in nation building is extraordinary, not only in the history of this country, but also in comparison with other third world countries.
  • Political Geography: East Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Elizabeth Van Vie Davis
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Few things have changed China's foreign policy toward the United States more subtly than the issue of a nuclear Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. The catalysts of these events were, on the one hand, the July 5, 2006, long-range missile test and the October 9, 2006, nuclear weapon test. On the other hand, the Six Party Talks that had been designed perhaps to prevent these very events have also been a catalyst to changes in US-China relations. In part these changes in Chinese foreign policy toward the US are because of changes within China itself. Partly these changes in Chinese foreign policy toward the US reflect China's changing role in the international system. And partly they are in response to US policy toward China. The nexus of these three elements has been a more respectful and open relationship between the two powers, but one still fraught with nuances and complexities.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Author: Ahmed I. Samatar
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: This special volume has a complicated history, and its release has been long in coming. The distant hinterland includes many months of preparation and discussion to form what became the National Civic Forum (NCF). Twenty-seven Somalis, made up of a mixture of scholars, senior professionals, and highly experienced national figures, assembled in Nairobi, Kenya, in late 2004 to start a disciplined exploration of the Somali conditions and what might possibly be done about them. That initial and successful retreat led to a public and widely circulated press release that underscored a nonpartisan commitment to the well-being of the Somali people through ideas that stress unity, peace, freedom, and constitutional civic life.
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Somalia, Nairobi
  • Author: Janis Grobbelaar, Jama M. Ghalib
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: At the more macro and general level, this article is concerned with societal transition towards the rule of law and sustainable democracy in post-conflict societies. It departs from an understanding that sufficient institutional capacity, in particular that needed to root and implement the rule of law, is ultimately required if secure, peaceful, and democratically viable post-conflict-ridden society is to be built and maintained over time. It assumes, in other words, that a legitimate and functioning normative order and a culture predisposed to such an order are key to security, reconciliation, and sustainable democracy. More particularly, the article engages the time and the methods, as well as the concerns of transition from societal violence, authoritarianism, and tyranny, towards the rule of law and secure democracy. To use Jon Elster's words, it deals with “the time” of attempting “to close the books” after a cessation of conflict has been agreed to and democracy is introduced.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Ahmed I. Samatar
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: As of this writing, too far from “civil happiness,” Somalis continue sliding deeper into a fallen time—pitiful victims of their own follies and an ill-informed, if not manipulative, international and regional system. More precisely, the fight over the state in the past decade and a half has been at once violent and so disabling that, in the eyes of the rest of the world, Somalis have become the paradigmatic embodiment of self-inflicted politicide. Dismayingly, though the Somali state institutions are no more, the contestants wage their battles as if the prize is just waiting to be picked up. Oblivious, then, to the fact that the state and governance are more than the sum of capricious self-promotion and claims of Potemkin political appellations and appointments, the aggressively ambitious bestow a vulgar concreteness to Jorge Luis Borges' metaphor of the condition of “two bald men fighting over a comb.” The ultimate costs of the death of the state and subsequent communal strife are a withering of the national civic identity and spirit and, therefore, a descent into a form of moronic existence. Six instantiations of this condition are: (a) disunity exemplified by some in the northern Somali Republic (Somaliland) calling for a separate sovereignty in that region; (b) an essentialization of clanist maneuvers and mischief that have proven to be incapable of producing legitimate and competent leaders fit for the challenges of the epoch, let alone bring forth workable institutions for the immediate juncture; (c) the degeneration of Mogadishu from the once breezy, relatively cosmopolitan nerve-center of the post-colonial order to a dilapidated hell's gate overwhelmed by new deadly conflagrations and mountains of illdisposed filth; (d) a deepening socioeconomic impoverishment, barely assuaged by remittances from relatives in the diaspora, decline in educational opportunities and standards, and deteriorating public health, including the return of polio; (e) an acute national vulnerability to easy bamboozlement, and now direct military intervention or invasion by foreign actors, particularly neighboring Ethiopia; and (f) a mixture of incredulity and contempt on the part of the larger global community. To be sure, these negative attributes (and many more) make up the defining face of Somali reality. But it is also vital to note that, among the paradoxes of the current sharp cut in time (the meaning of civil war), numerous ordinary women and men, in every zone of the country, have taken it upon themselves to address the immediate concerns of their families and neighborhoods, the virus of sectarian cabals, and, commensurately, keep the candle of civic values flickering for a future undergirded by a peaceful and legitimate and competent governance.
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia, Somalia