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  • Author: Michael D Bordo, Mickey D. Levy
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The ratcheting up of tariffs and the Fed’s discretionary conduct of monetary policy are a toxic mix for economic performance. Escalating tariffs and President Trump’s erratic and unpredictable trade policy and threats are harming global economic performance, distorting monetary policy, and undermining the Fed’s credibility and independence. President Trump’s objectives to force China to open access to its markets for international trade, reduce capital controls, modify unfair treatment of intellectual property, and address cybersecurity issues and other U.S. national security issues are laudable goals with sizable benefits. However, the costs of escalating tariffs are mounting, and the tactic of relying exclusively on barriers to trade and protectionism is misguided and potentially dangerous. The economic costs to the United States so far have been relatively modest, dampening exports, industrial production, and business investment. However, the tariffs and policy uncertainties have had a significantly larger impact on China, accentuating its structural economic slowdown, and are disrupting and distorting global supply chains. This is harming other nations that have significant exposure to international trade and investment overseas, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Germany. As a result, global trade volumes and industrial production are falling. Weaker global growth is reflected in a combination of a reduction in aggregate demand and constraints on aggregate supply.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Tariffs, Industry
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Asia, South Korea, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Erin Engstran, Caitlin Flynn, Meg Harris
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Women make up more than 80 percent of North Korean migrants to South Korea. This paper provides a gendered analysis of their migration and offers recommendations to address the systematic oppression and abuse of North Korean migrant women and girls. Gendered human rights abuses and societal shifts in gender roles due to famine contributed to women leaving in record numbers. On the journey, often via China, women face human trafficking fueled by China’s skewed sex ratios, sexual violence, and the threat of extradition back to North Korea where defectors are imprisoned, tortured, or killed. Even those who successfully complete the journey suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, discrimination, and difficulty adjusting into South Korean society. Interventions and policies must acknowledge the gendered dimension of migration to effectively address the harm North Korean women and girls experience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Migration, Women, Refugees, Gender Based Violence , Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Stephen Ranger
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Throughout the history of inter-Korean relations, the process of engagement between 1984 and 1985 has been of little focus among studies. Yet it is worthy of close analysis as it occurred during a critical time when Cold War tensions were mounting with shifts in the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States as well as the upcoming Summer Olympics in Seoul. This article reveals the way in which the complex international environment shaped inter-Korean dialogue, particularly within the context of how each side was also seeking support from the Soviet Union. Crucially, it will show that inter-Korean dialogue formed an important source of legitimacy for the two Koreas, both domestically and internationally. This has ramifications for today where the two Koreas are seeking out contacts with one another within a regional order increasingly being shaped by China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Jimmyn Pare
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Under changing dynamics such as US-China relations, the domestic and foreign policies of South Korea’s new government under President Moon Jae-in have shown favor to China and North Korea, which is somewhat contrary to previous administrations that maintained pro-American policies. This situation is very similar to the geopolitical circumstances of the Joseon Dynasty during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries before Korea was occupied by Japan. This article analyzes and compares the geopolitical situations and Korea’s domestic and foreign policies of the two periods. By doing so, this article argues that policy makers should be more prudent when deliberating what should be achieved in order to enhance the future of Korea, rather than how to ensure their own personal legacy or ambition for political power.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Reunification
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: There were high expectations at the second meeting of American and North Korean leaders in Vietnam last month after the absence of progress on denuclearization commitments made at the first summit in Singapore last summer. Yet at Hanoi, not only were the two leaders unable to deliver an agreement with tangible steps on denuclearization, but they also dispensed with the joint statement signing, cancelled the ceremonial lunch and skipped the joint press conference. In a solo presser, President Donald Trump said that sometimes you “have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”[2] The President indeed may have avoided getting entrapped into a bad deal at Hanoi. What North Korea put on the table in terms of the Yongbyon nuclear complex addresses a fraction of its growing nuclear program that does not even break the surface of its underlying arsenal and stockpiles of fissile materials, not to mention missile bases and delivery systems. And what North Korea sought in return, in terms of major sanctions relief on five UN Security Council resolutions that target 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, would have removed one of the primary sources of leverage, albeit imperfect, on the regime. In this instance, no deal was better than a bad deal for the United States. Nevertheless, the Hanoi summit has left the United States with no clear diplomatic road ahead on this challenging security problem, a trail of puzzled allies in Asia and the promise of no more made-for-television summit meetings for the foreseeable future. The question remains, where do we go from here? When leaders’ summits fail to reach agreement, diplomacy by definition has reached the end of its rope. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put on the best face they could in Hanoi, talking about closer understanding and continued good relations between the two sides as a result of the meetings, but the failed summit leaves a great deal of uncertainty going forward. South Koreans will frantically seek meetings with Washington and Pyongyang to pick up the pieces. The North Koreans already have sent an envoy to China to chart next steps. While I do not think this will mean a return to the “Fire and Fury” days of 2017 when armed conflict was possible, we have learned numerous lessons from Hanoi for going forward.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: G. Ivashentsov
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: TENSION around the Korean Peninsula is one of the main threats to international security. North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear and missile weapon systems has become a new serious factor in global strategic sta- bility. Previously, during the cold war era, the only tool of control over strategic weapons was the relationship between Moscow and Washington. At present, the international situation has radically changed. New nuclear powers – India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea – regard- less of whether or not the original five members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledge them as such, are not under the control of either Washington or Moscow or Beijing: they act at their own discretion, as they see fit. The current polycentrism of nuclear proliferation is based on region- al rivalry. India has created its nuclear arsenal as a counterweight to China; Pakistan, as a counterweight to India; and Israel, as a shield against Arab states. None of these states, however, are seeking global supremacy and so their nuclear status is taken by the world community more or less in stride.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Christos G. Frentzos
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: After the United States, the Republic of Korea sent more troops to Vietnam than any other nation. Approximately 325,000 South Korean soldiers served in Vietnam between 1964 and 1973. Although the Korean military and economy benefited substantially from the conflict, the war also left some deep scars on the national psyche. While the government did not permit public criticism of the war in the 1960s and 1970s, South Koreans have now finally begun to confront their troubled Vietnam legacy. Often referred to as Korea’s “forgotten war,” the Vietnam Conflict has recently made its way into Korean popular culture through movies, novels and songs about the war. Increased freedom and democracy has created an environment where both the Korean government and the people have begun to openly discuss issues such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and alleged wartime atrocities committed by South Korean servicemen. This paper will analyze some of the more controversial aspects of Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War and examine how South Koreans themselves have addressed these issues both officially and within their popular culture during the last few decades.
  • Topic: War, History, Culture, Media, Conflict, Atrocities, Vietnam War, Veterans
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, United States of America
  • Author: Thomas Petri
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States Marine Corps’ 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, (ANGLICO) supported the U.S. Army and allied units in the Republic of Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. In the summer of 1966, ten officers and 75 enlisted Marines were assigned to the 2 nd Republic of Korea Marine Corps Brigade. This paper recounts my tour of duty as a tactical air controller with the brigade’s 1 st Battalion from 1966 to 1968. I rotated among the battalion’s three companies and reconnaissance platoon, directing air strikes, coordinating helicopter resupply and arranging medical evacuations. My responsibilities allowed me to work alongside the company commander and fire support coordinator; my rank enabled me to interact with the company’s noncommissioned officers and enlisted Marines. Together we fought the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in nameless rice paddies and jungle choked heights, forging a legend that would define the fighting spirit that has become synonymous with the reputation and respect earned by Korea’s magnificent Marines. Throughout my association with the Blue Dragon Brigade, I have always been impressed with the leadership, training and discipline infused at every level of command. Employing two incidents of mortal combat as a vehicle to demonstrate these attributes, I attempt to convey the admiration and respect I hold for my brother Marines from the Land of the Morning Calm.
  • Topic: History, Armed Forces, Conflict, Memoir, Vietnam War
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines North Korea’s dispatch of pilots, psychological operations, and tunneling specialists to aid the Democratic Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Growing American and South Korean involvement in Vietnam provided an opportunity for North Korea’s increasingly assertive military leaders to better understand their adversaries. Pyongyang’s secret deployment was facilitated by the “Partisan Generals,” who sought to fight the Americans in the sky, demoralize the South Koreans on the ground, and perfect the techniques of underground warfare. North Korea provided material assistance that was significant given its limited resources. Additionally, North Korea detained South Korean Prisoners of War captured by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong. English, Korean, and Vietnamese language materials are used throughout this paper.
  • Topic: Cold War, Conflict, Vietnam War, Psychological Operations, Prisoners of War
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, United States of America
  • Author: Michael MacArthur Bosack
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the multinational headquarters that led the allied forces in the Korean War. The command’s Military Armistice Commission supervises the Armistice Agreement. While the United Nations Command and its activities are common knowledge in the Republic of Korea, the command’s long-standing organization and functions in Japan are less well known. This relationship began in 1950 and is codified in the 1954 United Nations-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The command’s rear area headquarters, the aptly named United Nations Command-Rear Headquarters, has managed this relationship since 1957. After decades of few changes, the United Nations Command and its Sending States broadened traditional roles and missions from Japan beginning in the early 2000s. This led to expanded activities within the legal framework and security mandate governing the United Nations Command’s relationship with Japan, strengthening Japan’s ties with the command’s member states, and supporting the “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. This paper examines the relationship between the United Nations Command and Japan, beginning with the institutions and interests underpinning the relationship. Next, it describes the Status of Forces Agreement and how the relationship functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant policy issues, limitations to greater cooperation, and opportunities for expanded roles within the framework of the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Military Affairs, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations, United States of America
  • Author: Jonathan Lim
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper conceptualizes the emerging détente within inter-Korean relations as evidence of tangible transformations within North Korea’s domestic and foreign policy, establishing how this phenomenon represents a unique and conclusive opportunity for peace and engagement. It contextualizes the inter-Korean and Singapore summits as foundations for the détente, before expanding upon the nature of the détente through the contrasting objectives of North and South Korea, and the transitional nature of domestic affairs in North Korea. The article establishes the bona fide nature of North Korea’s détente, as revealed by a direct connection between North Korea’s international diplomatic gestures vis-av-vis transitional domestic circumstances; involving incremental economic modernization and political liberalization under a shift in focus within Kim Jong-un’s Byungjin Line policy. This analysis departs from and orthodox Western interpretation of inter-Korean relations, providing a holistic analysis of inter-Korean affairs and North Korean domestic politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore
  • Author: Richard N. Holwill
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: A meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un (KJU), the Supreme Leader of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), can be a success even if it fails to achieve President Trump’s announced goal: an end to the DPRK nuclear weapons program. This meeting starts by giving KJU one of his long-sought goals. It will, in effect, be more than a meeting. It will be a “summit” and will confer on KJU the status of the leader of a legitimate government. President Trump would be wise to redefine success. He should not fall into the trap of saying that success will be defined by a “denuclearization agreement.” While that should be a long-term goal, it will not happen at this meeting. Still, the summit will be successful if it produces a process that can lead to a substantial reduction of tension on the Korean Peninsula. This is not to say that an agreement on denuclearization is off the table. Rather, it is to rec­ognize that these talks could present a framework for negotiation that would be very valuable, even if they will fall short of a nuclear disarmament accord. To understand the difficulty of reaching a nuclear arms agreement, we need only look at the way the two leaders speak about denuclearization. Each appears to define it differently. President Trump applies the term to nuclear weapons in the DPRK. KJU speaks of it as applying to the entire Korean Peninsula. He will argue that, if he must allow a mean­ingful verification regime, so must U.S. forces in South Korea.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Jisung Yoo
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This study investigates the South Korean government’s role in the success of the Hallyu [Korean Wave] and the growing global interest in Korean popular culture by examining official news releases on Hallyu issued by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism from 2007 to 2017. The author argues that the domestic news releases had a supporting role for artists and cultural products in South Korea; they didn’t directly contribute to Korean industrial economic growth. In contrast, the international news releases tended to play a leading role in promoting Korea’s positive image; they contributed to Korea’s industrial economic growth by means of cultural diplomacy and soft power. Statistical analyses were conducted to determine whether a significant relationship exists between domestic news releases and industrial economic growth. To provide evidence of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s leading role in promoting artists and cultural products abroad, the author examined and qualitatively analyzed English, Chinese, and Japanese language news releases. The findings revealed that the number of releases had no significant relationship with increased annual economic growth, which seems to come from the power of Hallyu itself, not the government’s support. The qualitative analysis shows that international releases were used as a tool to achieve foreign policy goals and advance a positive national image. This study contributes to the growing literature on Hallyu by discussing the dual role of official news releases.
  • Topic: Government, Culture, Soft Power, popular culture, Cultural Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Jenna Gibson
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, Western publics have gradually caught on to the Kpop phenomenon; the Korean Wave has arrived on European and North American shores and shows no signs of receding. Heightened interest has corresponded with increased mainstream media coverage, both among news and entertainment outlets. This article analyzes mainstream media coverage of the Korean Wave from 2009 to 2019, including an examination of overall trends in K-pop framing over time. This analysis suggests that coverage of K-pop in Western media has proceeded through four distinct stages of development: 1) Introductory Stage, 2) Gangnam Style Stage, 3) Korean Wave Stage, and 4) Mainstreaming Stage. This article also examines how the changing portrayal of K-pop for general audiences has corresponded with a similar evolution in portrayals of South Korea and Korean society as a whole.
  • Topic: Media, News Analysis, Soft Power, Music, popular culture
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Hyeri Jung
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper unravels dynamic interactions between Korean popular culture and its fans in the United States, focusing on how cultural hybridity of the Korean Wave un/consciously facilitates soft power, and what sociocultural implications it might yield in global/international contexts. Employing various theoretical frameworks of globalization, critical/cultural media studies, hybridity, soft power, and fan studies, I take a qualitative methodological approach of what I call a reversed media ethnography: Examining the contraflow of Korean media culture on U.S. fans. I employ various qualitative and interpretive techniques including grounded theory to analyze the rich corpus of data I collected over a period of two years to examine the nature of transcultural media and fans of the Korean Wave in the United States. Overall, the findings of this paper suggest that the complex layers of hybridity embedded in Korean popular culture creates complicated webs of transculturality. The Korean Wave exemplifies strategically well-balanced cultural hybridity that arouses a certain feeling of affinity: Emotional proximity. Korean popular culture evokes continuous negotiations of identities and generates nonthreatening wholesome content that comfortably appeals to American fans with various ethnic, racial, social, and cultural backgrounds. The notion of uriness (we-ness in English), collective unity and solidarity, embedded in Korean popular culture and its fandom culture works as one of the multifaceted soft power in the eyes of American fans that leads to an alternative post-Western soft power. This study contends that it is not the so-called hybridized Korean popular culture per se that makes it transcultural, and global to some extent, but the often under-recognized vital agents in the global sphere: Legions of fans.
  • Topic: Culture, Soft Power, Ethnography, Music
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dal Yong Jin, Ju Oak Kim
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Korean unscripted format has recently reshaped media flows and practices on a global scale. This article, based upon a comparative analysis of Grandpas Over Flowers (tvN) and Better Late Than Never (NBC), explores how the Korean broadcasting industry has attracted Western broadcasting providers with its travel-based reality format, and how an American television network has produced its own version, negotiating the local specificity that the original series contained. Certainly, cultural differences in media production between the two societies are largely embedded in the localizing process. While Grandpas Over Flowers was dependent upon the long-standing friendship between veteran actors and their public images as fathers and grandfathers within society, Better Late Than Never employs veteran entertainers’ professional successes as the driving force for adventuring into exotic cultures in East Asia. This article claims that the Grandpas Over Flowers case evokes a new phase of the Korean Wave phenomenon, revealing a non-Western media player’s attempt at challenging the domination of United States and United Kingdom television formats in the global media industries.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Culture, Media, popular culture
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jieun Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In the midst of a worldwide fascination with Hallyu, South Korea’s cultural products, the popularity of K-pop and K-drama has soared to unprecedented levels. In New York City, Korean American playwright Jason Kim’s Off-Broadway musical KPOP (2017) brought K-pop music and dance to the stage. In the Twin Cities, a Hmong American playwright May Lee-Yang set her play, The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity (2018), within her Hmong ethnic background, as a romantic satire and homage to K-drama. While both plays function superbly as theatrical entertainment, I argue that these works serve as critical investigations into the methods of creating and disseminating K-pop and K-drama. Both theater pieces bring up issues of racial, gender, sexual, national, and ethnic identities as they reimagine Hallyu in North America and assess its impact on Asian America.
  • Topic: Culture, Ethnicity, Identities, Music, popular culture, Theater
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Soojin Ahn
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: As social media platforms such as YouTube have become important access points for Korean popular music (K-pop), international fans have enjoyed recording and sharing their responses to K-pop music videos on social media. In particular, reaction videos have been the most convenient and popular way for many international fans to share their opinions on and reactions to K-pop songs with others. This study aims to investigate the unique characteristics of reaction videos to share K-pop fans’ cultural experiences through YouTube videos and discuss the potential use of such fans’ learner motivation and learning environment for Korean language education. Four YouTube reaction videos were investigated through thematic analysis and through a discourse analysis informed by interactional sociolinguistics. The findings show how the reaction video creators build a community with other fans by establishing familiarity through agreement, considering the audience, and exchanging information, not only about a specific song, but also about K-pop in general and Korean Wave genres. These creators also demonstrated multiliteracies by expressing their opinions and feelings through facial expressions, visuals, and dance. These creators make their reaction videos regularly, proving their long-term enthusiasm for K-pop and the Korean Wave. This research offers important implications for future Korean language education, which will embrace diverse groups of international learners who actively participate in K-pop fan activities online.
  • Topic: Culture, Social Media, Language, Music, YouTube
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South Korea, Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Kyle Ferrier
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea is at a critical crossroads. The future of the liberal international order, a major source of strength for Seoul, is unclear. President Donald Trump has repudiated the longstanding American role of upholding the liberal order. While Beijing has been quick to capitalize on this policy shift, the norms China seeks to promote either fall short of or run counter to the advancement of an open and rules-based international system. Although South Korea may be caught between these two great powers, it is by no means powerless to influence how international economic norms are advanced. To best meet its economic and even strategic interests, the Moon administration should begin negotiations to have South Korea join the remaining countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, known as the CPTPP.
  • Topic: International Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trans-Pacific Partnership, Free Trade, Regionalism, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Troy Stangarone
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Following a relatively successful period for U.S.-South Korea economic relations under the Bush and Obama administrations, Washington and Seoul have entered a new period of economic tension in the Trump administration. Unlike prior U.S. presidents, who placed a priority on negotiating fair rules in the United States’ economic relationships, President Trump has prioritized outcomes. As a result, one of his administration’s earliest moves was to renegotiate the KORUS Free Trade Agreement. While the results of the renegotiation were modest, they may help to expand the sale of American automobiles in the Republic of Korea in the long-run. The largest outcome of the negotiations may be to protect the Ford Motor Company from South Korean competition in the U.S. market as the company transitions to sales focused on light trucks. While the renegotiation has eased tensions for the moment, the prospect of economic engagement with North Korea, the Trump administration’s continued use of national security to erect trade barriers, and the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles could result in growing tensions in the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Negotiation, Free Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michelle R. Palumbarit
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of Korean Studies in the Republic of the Philippines. Despite a security relationship with the United Nations Command that dates to the earliest days of the Korean War, neither the government nor academic institutions considered establishing Korean Studies programs for nearly half a century. South Korean companies invested heavily in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations in the 1990s, leading to the arrival of entrepreneurs, tourists, and retirees. This created a demand for Korean language education to support the increased business activities and employment opportunities that accompanied Korean investment. Although the pattern of South Korean trade and investment activity in the Philippines was similar to its Southeast Asian neighbors, the establishment of Korean Studies in the Philippines occurred later than similar programs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Nonetheless, the Korean Studies programs in the Philippines paralleled the development of programs in other Southeast Asian nations with language training classes leading to broader studies of Korean history, economy, politics and culture.
  • Topic: Education, History, Bilateral Relations, Academia
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Philippines, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: George Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The international community’s confrontation with North Korea reached crisis proportions in 2017, following Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and its sixth nuclear test. In the wake of a series of high-level summits, tensions began to thaw in 2018. At the inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom on April 27, 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to seek support from the international community to denuclearize. But the international community, led by the U.S. in concert with the United Nations Security Council, has already worked tirelessly over the past 26 years to coordinate efforts to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Successive U.S. administrations have worked through the cycle of confrontation, crisis, discussions and agreements with North Korea. Nonetheless, all these agreements have ultimately fallen apart, allowing North Korea to advance its nuclear program. This paper focuses on two key questions: How has the international community contributed toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, and what is its role in facilitating the complete, verifiable dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program? Ultimately, the success of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula will be measured by whether North Korea completely dismantles its nuclear program. Fortunately, the international “tools” are on the table, but successfully denuclearizing North Korea will, in the end, be a matter of effectively enforcing existing international measures.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Sanctions, Nonproliferation, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Phillip C. Shon
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Previous works on parricide have been primarily based on North American and European contexts, to the near exclusion of other nations, sociocultural contexts, and time periods. Using newspaper accounts of parricide from the Chosun Ilbo, this paper aims to examine the sources of conflict between parents and their offspring in preindustrial South Korea. The findings reveal that arguments, financial disputes, and discipline are notable sources of conflict in South Korean parricides. Additionally, the results suggest that parricides in South Korea are shaped by Confucian value systems.
  • Topic: Crime, Culture, Conflict, Parricide, Confucianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Justin Malzac
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The historiography of the one of the most significant events of the “Park Chung-hee Era” has changed little in the past decades. Recent research does not analyze the agency of Park and his fellow coup makers. It has largely been taken for granted that Park was the architect and leader of the May 16th coup that eventually brought him to power. However, in 2015, new interviews with Kim Jong-pil were released that strongly contradicted much of the traditional narrative. Kim, one of the main coup leaders, strongly asserted that he was the mastermind behind the coup, and that he enlisted Park to the cause, not the other way around. By comparing Kim’s new narrative with the primary record, this paper attempts to assess the veracity of his comments that challenge the conventional narrative.
  • Topic: United Nations, History, Coup
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Taehee Whang, Michael Lammbrau, Hyung-min Joo
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: For the past two decades, North Korea has made a series of military provocations, destabilizing the regional security of East Asia. In particular, Pyongyang has launched several conventional attacks on South Korea. Although these attacks seem unpredictable and random, we attempt in this article to find some patterns in North Korean provocations. To this end, we employ a machine-learning technique to analyze news articles of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) from 1997 to 2013. Based on five key words (‘years,’ ‘signed,’ ‘assembly,’ ‘June,’ and ‘Japanese’), our model identifies North Korean provocations with 82% accuracy. Further investigation into these attack words and the contexts in which they appear produces significant insights into the ways in which we can detect North Korean provocations.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: H. Işıl Alkan
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: In line with the recognition of the significance of women in the path to development, various countries have sought to increase female labor market participation over the past decades. While many European countries have been successful, numerous Asian countries have failed. The purpose of this study is to compare the patterns of female employment in three Asian countries since the 1990s including India, South Korea, and Turkey and to discover the main determinants of the issue. Female employment is a multidimensional concept that should be evaluated from cultural, economic and political perspectives. The study thus adopts a broad perspective containing cultural, economic and political factors in different nations.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Culture, Women, Employment, Economic structure, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, India, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Gary J. Sampson
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In 2017, North Korea under Kim Jong-un has made significant strides toward the capabilities needed for a credible nuclear deterrent. This article analyzes the most recent achievements of the North Korean nuclear weapons program, including its September 2017 nuclear test and its three long-range missile tests in the latter half of 2017. Observers should not discount Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. However, other capabilities such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and targeting require further development to achieve the full range of capabilities associated with a credible nuclear deterrent. Because of the high costs associated with the development of robust strategic intelligence and targeting capabilities, Pyongyang may be willing to settle for lower levels of capability in these areas, which may still be sufficient to guide nuclear attacks. As a result, policymakers must move to a bargaining strategy that acknowledges the reality of North Korea’s nuclear capability, marking a significant policy shift among regional allies. Pyongyang’s long-held desire to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its regional allies may be coming to fruition. Kim Jong-un has shrewdly played his hand from a position of weakness and succeeded where many others failed—a high-risk path upon which he still walks. China’s minimum credible nuclear deterrent may be a model for Kim Jong-un’s development of North Korean nuclear capability.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, Surveillance, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the United Nations Development Programme’s role in South and North Korea’s economic development. The UNDP is not only the UN’s lead agency for economic and social development, it is one of the few UN organizations to have worked with both countries in traditional bilateral arrangements, as well as a in multilateral initiative. Operating in South Korea from 1963 to 2009, the UNDP contributed to the nation’s economic development by complimenting the government’s policies. However, its role was minor compared to the government’s own actions. Nonetheless, South Korea has served on the UNDP board four times since its UN admission in 1991, raising the country’s diplomatic standing. After North Korea joined the UNDP in 1979, the organization’s work in the country focused on improving food production and supporting industrial development. These activities helped improve the economic crisis since the 1990s. In the 1990s, the UNDP provided humanitarian assistance and scholarships to develop human resources. Pyongyang officials restricted the UNDP’s work throughout the time it was active in North Korea. These violations led the UNDP to suspend operations in 2007. Since the early 1990s, the UNDP has supported the Tumen River Area Development Program, the only initiative that involved the two Koreas, as well as China, Russia and Mongolia. Although the UNDP facilitated initial contacts, it was unable to overcome longstanding animosities and disagreements. The successor Greater Tumen Initiative continues to languish.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, United Nations, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations
  • Author: Shawn P. Creamer
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the oldest and most distinguished of the four theater-level commands in the Republic of Korea. Authorized by the nascent United Nations Security Council, established by the United States Government, and initially commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the United Nations Command had over 930,000 servicemen and women at the time the Armistice Agreement was signed. Sixteen UN member states sent combat forces and five provided humanitarian assistance to support the Republic of Korea in repelling North Korea’s attack. Over time, other commands and organizations assumed responsibilities from the United Nations Command, to include the defense of the Republic of Korea. The North Korean government has frequently demanded the command’s dissolution, and many within the United Nations question whether the command is a relic of the Cold War. This paper examines the United Nations Command, reviewing the establishment of the command and its subordinate organizations. The next section describes the changes that occurred as a result of the establishment of the Combined Forces Command in 1978, as well as the implications of removing South Korean troops from the United Nations Command’s operational control in 1994. The paper concludes with an overview of recent efforts to revitalize the United Nations Command, with a focus on the command’s relationship with the Sending States.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Military Affairs, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Noam Hartoch, Alon Levkowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests during the Kim Jong-un era have strengthened the country’s military power, deterring South Korea, Japan and, in particular, the United States. While North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities are rapidly improving, parallel developments aren’t occurring in the traditionally technical air and air defense forces. Plagued with aging airframes, technical problems, parts shortages and budget shortfalls, the North Korean Air Force no longer challenges the South Korean and American air forces. This paper examines the North Korean Air Force, analyzing its organization and deployment, air defense and early warning capabilities, aircraft acquisition, and aircraft production. Shortfalls in each of these areas caused Pyongyang to develop, test, and operate an increasingly sophisticated drone fleet. While North Korea won’t be able to build a state-of-the-art aircraft industry, it will nonetheless find creative ways to strengthen its air force capabilities.
  • Topic: Nuclear Power, Weapons , Drones, Missile Defense, Air Force
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea, Poland, Soviet Union, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Founder and first Commandant Shin Hyun-joon led the Republic of Korea Marine Corps longer than any other officer. Created without American advisors or equipment, the Navy’s amphibious unit initially reflected his long association with the customs and practices of the Imperial Japanese Army and lessons learned on battlefields across Manchuria and China. Shin’s path to the Corps’ top position also included service with the Korean Coast Guard and Republic of Korea Navy. He led Marines in counterguerrilla operations on Cheju Island, during the Incheon-Seoul campaign, and in fighting along the east coast. As commandant, Shin transformed the rapidly expanding Corps, forging a relationship with the United States Marine Corps and instituting training and education practices modeled on the American system. He remained in uniform after serving as commandant, commanding the 1st Marine Brigade, advising the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Minister of National Defense, and forming the Marine Education Base. Avowedly apolitical, he was nonetheless close to the leaders of South Korea’s first three republics: respected by Syngman Rhee, beloved by Chang Myon, and esteemed and subsequently feared by Park Chung-hee. Shin is not only South Korea’s longest serving general officer, but the nation’s longest serving ambassador. Drawn from the memoirs of General Shin and his contemporaries, this essay provides insight into the relationships between the “Father of the Marine Corps” and the Republic of Korea’s early leaders in the establishment and evolution of this elite military service.
  • Topic: History, Military Affairs, Leadership, Conflict, Coup
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Collins
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Rescuing inmates from North Korea's vast political prison system presents significant challenges for American and South Korean political and military leaders. The lives of prisoners would be immediately threatened in the event of war or the collapse of the Kim Family Regime, as former camp guards who defected to the Republic of Korea have testified to this effect. The events that would threaten the prisoners' lives would occur at a time when the military assets needed for their rescue are in most demand. Defending Seoul and treating civilian casualties will remain priorities for military commanders, who will find it difficult to divert the specially trained troops, air support and logistical resources required to neutralize camp guards, secure the prisons, and provide immediate aid to the inmates. Yet, rescuing the inmates would provide benefits, including gaining the support from a wary North Korean population and legitimizing post-crisis reunification efforts. Because of the strategic implications of this decision, only the American and South Korean presidents could authorize such a mission.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regime Change, Prisons/Penal Systems, Political Prisoners
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: China is playing a duplicitous game when it comes to North Korea. It proclaims it is enforcing Security Council resolutions when it is in fact not. The Chinese have overwhelming leverage over the North, but they will not use their power to disarm the Kim Family regime, at least in the absence of intense pressure from the United States. Beijing believes Pyongyang furthers important short-term Chinese objectives, and so views it as a weapon against Washington and others. Beijing’s attempts to punish Seoul over its decision to accept deployment of the THAAD missile defense system reveal true intentions.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Authoritarianism, Weapons , Missile Defense, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: With nearly 900,000 long-term residents, Japan has one of the largest populations of overseas Koreans. Japan is unique in that it is the only country that further classifies its Korean residents by external political affiliation; i.e., those not adopting Japanese nationality are affiliated with the Korean Residents Union of Japan (Mindan) or the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), organizations that are linked to South and North Korea, respectively. The status of Korean residents in Japan, and both organizations supporting them, is a product of Japan’s complex relationship with the Korean Peninsula during the last century. American concerns about Japan’s Korean residents—both as an occupying power and a treaty ally—add another dimension to what should have been a domestic or bilateral issue between the Government of Japan, its Korean residents, and North or South Korea. Chongryon’s long-term financial, material, and technical support to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs highlighted the differences between all governments. However, Pyongyang’s admission that it abducted Japanese citizens has brought about significant changes in the Japanese government’s policies toward North Korea and Chongryon. These include the suspension of ferry services between the two countries and limiting remittances to North Korea. As the Trump Administration considers tighter sanctions as part of its North Korean strategy, the history of the Japan’s relations with its proPyongyang residents provides a cautionary tale about the international community’s ability to use sanctions as a means to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile ambitions.
  • Topic: Immigration, Sanctions, Weapons , Ethnicity, Abductions
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Seongwhun Cheon
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Managing a nuclear-armed North Korea is South Korea’s grand strategy to protect the nation’s vital security interest in the short term and achieve peaceful unification in the long term. Its foundation rests on two pillars of containing the North’s military expansion and nuclear coercion, and promoting constructive changes in North Korean society. This strategy of management is neither appeasement based on unfounded optimism of the North Korean leadership nor an intimidation tactic to overthrow the Kim Family Regime. Under the assumption that genuine peace or national integration is not possible unless North Korea is denuclearized and its society transformed, it is a strategy that exercises full vigilance toward the North and applies all available means and methods to reduce political and military threats from Pyongyang. It also patiently encourages gradual and fundamental changes in North Korea as the ultimate path to a denuclearized and unified Korean peninsula. The management strategy understands that no dialogue with North Korea could resolve the nuclear problem at a single stroke, and thus, it keeps expectations low and objectives achievable. It does not anticipate a sweeping deal to denuclearize North Korea.
  • Topic: Nuclear Power, Grand Strategy, Peace, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Mark Halchin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The reasoning behind North Korea’s continued efforts to develop a nuclear deterrent remains puzzling to many, with the heavy costs and behavior of the regime leading to the belief that it is irrational. This paper argues that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is instead a rational strategy for the regime. The perceived threat from South Korean and American military forces, as well as its own ineffective conventional forces, make a North Korean nuclear program a viable and relatively cheap deterrent. Its limited foreign relations and near-total dependence on China largely insulate it from economic punishment. Finally, the nature of the regime allows it to disregard popular opinion while forcing it to accommodate military demands for a nuclear deterrent. The necessity of nuclear weapons for defence and the few downsides of possessing them means that Pyongyang is unlikely to give them up, thus dooming denuclearization efforts to failure.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: For more than half a century, the United States has played a leading role in shaping order in East Asia. This East Asian order has been organized around American military and economic dominance, anchored in the U.S. system of alliances with Japan, South Korea, and other partners across Asia. Over the decades, the United States found itself playing a hegemonic role in the region—providing security, underwriting stability, promoting open markets, and fostering alliance and political partnerships. It was an order organized around “hard” bilateral security ties and “soft” multilateral groupings. It was built around security, economic, and political bargains. The United States exported security and imported goods. Across the region, countries expanded trade, pursued democratic transitions, and maintained a more or less stable peace.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea has been board member of the UN Commission on Human Rights and member of the UN Human Rights Council serving as Chairman of the latter in 2016. Both organizations have been characterized by politicization, which undermines their work. However, no such example was found related to their work on human rights in North Korea. Although South Korea’s position on North Korean human rights issues had been inconsistent previously, Seoul has consistently supported UN resolutions since 2008. North Korea has rejected criticism from the UN of its human rights record. Work by the UN and South Korea on the North Korean human rights issue has failed to improve the situation. Regardless, these efforts have increased global awareness of North Korea rights violations and exerted some pressure on Pyongyang to address the situation. South Korea strengthened its commitment in this area when the National Assembly enacted the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2016. Realists’ and liberals’ views of international cooperation form the theoretical framework of the study.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, United Nations, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Randall Ireson
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Modern farming in Korea has followed two divergent paths since the partition of the peninsula. Both countries substantially raised agricultural production in the 1970s, but policy decisions in North Korea created a situation in which the farm sector stagnated and ultimately failed when faced with changes in the 1990s. In addition to reviewing the technical and policy changes since the start of the food crisis, this paper examines the likely consequences of reunification on the North Korean farm sector. Structural changes would include the dominance of a market economy, dissolution of cooperative and state farms, and the need to recapitalize the entire farm economy. Organizational changes regarding land tenure, operation and management of formerly collective resources, and new roles for former North Korean agricultural guidance and research organizations would be challenging. Rural residents would face personal challenges of adapting to the requirements and thinking patterns of a market economy, coupled with the loss of close technical direction by the North Korean planning system. Although there are opportunities for enhanced farm productivity and economic well being at the household level, smoothly adapting to reunification would greatly depend on planning, policies and resources set in place for such an event.
  • Topic: Agriculture, History, Famine, Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Shawn P. Creamer
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The theater-level command relationships in the Republic of Korea are complex and nuanced. They are often misunderstood by American and South Korean military and civilian leaders. Available open source resources often focus on specific elements of the command relationships, sometimes over-relying on official rhetoric from the respective commands. These narratives don’t provide a complete picture of how these distinct organizations work together towards the common goal of defending South Korea from North Korean aggression. This paper consolidates and amalgamates relevant open source resources to provide clarity to what was previously an opaque understanding of the interconnected, yet distinct relationships between the four concurrently operating theater-level commands that have roles in defending South Korea. In particular, this paper dissects each command’s roles, its relationships with the commands, and guidance and direction governing each command.
  • Topic: United Nations, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Greg Scarlatoiu
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was a great admirer of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, attempting to duplicate the personality cult, national-Communism and other aspects of the North Korean dynastic totalitarian regime. Systematic human rights violations were common in both countries. Despite the relentless repression, indoctrination and surveillance, there are several factors that could potentially erode the Kim Family Regime’s grip on power, including informal marketization and increased information inflow from the outside world. As such, Romania provides an important precedent for the current situation in North Korea. Of particular note, understanding those factors that conferred legitimacy on the Romanian military enables a deeper appreciation of the military’s role in the anti-communist revolution and turbulent times that followed. Kim Jong-il learned from the Romanian experience, adopting a military first policy in North Korea. In contrast, Kim Jong-un has attempted to return some power to the Korean Workers Party. Kim Jong-un’s success in gaining the support of the country’s elites would be a key factor in avoiding a Romanian-style revolution and obliteration of the top leadership.
  • Topic: Human Rights, History, Regime Change, Authoritarianism, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Romania
  • Author: George Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States-Republic of Korea Alliance has arrived at a critical juncture. In July 2016, the countries jointly decided to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system to the Korean Peninsula to defend against North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and ballistic missile programs. China has long opposed an American-led, regional missile defense system, persistently warning South Korea against deploying THAAD. Since the deciding to deploy THAAD, the political landscapes in the U.S. and the ROK have changed dramatically. The new Donald J. Trump administration has signaled a change from the previous administration’s “strategic patience” policy, but details of the new approach have yet to emerge. North Korea, meanwhile, continues to aggressively test ballistic missiles and promote its nuclear weapons program. In South Korea, the impeachment and subsequent removal of Park Geun-hye triggered the need for a snap election, and a left-leaning candidate, Moon Jae-in, is leading in the polls. The election could mark a return of previous liberal administration policies that favored cooperation with North Korea. Additionally, Moon has signaled his opposition to THAAD. Nonetheless, the U.S. began deploying THAAD to South Korea in March 2017. China retaliated, implementing a series of economic, political, and military measures to pressure South Korea. This paper provides background on THAAD, analyzes the decision by Washington and Seoul to deploy the system to Korea, and examines Beijing’s concerns and coercive counterstrategy
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Military Strategy, Weapons , Missile Defense, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Sam-man Chung
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs threaten South Korea and its neighbors. Pyongyang’s engineers are likely capable of producing a warhead small enough to place it atop a missile. As its ability to engineer warheads for flight and reentry improves, North Korea increasingly endangers the United States. Deterring Pyongyang is extremely difficult given North Korea’s conventional, unconventional, and cyber capabilities. South Korean and American strategists have reponspded by developing a tailored deterrence strategy to address specific threats. At the operational level, this is supported by the Combined Counter-Provocation Plan. Ballistic missile defense, including the ability to detect, defend, disrupt, and destroy North Korea’s missiles, is critical to the success of the tailored deterrence strategy. South Korea opted to develop its Korean Air and Missile Defense and Kill Chain system. These systems are independent of American ballistic missile defense systems. The Korean systerms were conceived and developed amidst plans to transfer Wartime Operational Control from the U.S. to South Korea. Because transfer has been postponted, there is less rationale for maintaing separate systems. Despite the official desire to keep these systems independent, South Korea needs to develop options for enhancing interoperability with American missile defense systems to support the tailored deterrence strategy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons , Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between China and North Korea have deteriorated during the last year, but Beijing has not fundamentally changed its approach toward its neighbor because that approach serves vital Chinese interests. If the regime of Kim Jong Un should look like it might fail—and there are several reasons why it could—Beijing’s leaders will undoubtedly do all they can to effect a rescue. The Chinese state, however, is not as stable or as capable as it appears, and it may not be in a position to lend needed assistance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Authoritarianism, Political stability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Troy Stangarone
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: When the next United States president is inaugurated on January 20, 2017, he or she may face one of the more challenging domestic political environments for international trade in the modern political era; at that time, the U.S. will need to make significant decisions regarding its economic relationship with East Asia, including South Korea. The most significant decision facing the next administration will be handling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While there is still time for the U.S. Congress to pass the TPP prior to the next administration taking office, it is increasingly likely that the next administration will have to grapple with either passing or renegotiating the Asia-Pacific-wide agreement, as well as determining how to bring South Korea into the region wide agreement. Bringing Korea into the TPP will further solidify the U.S.’ economic relationship with South Korea, enhancing efforts to move toward a free trade area within the Asia-Pacific. While South Korea’s accession to the TPP will likely be the next administration’s major economic objective, they should also work to strengthen the economic relationship with South Korea by deepening cooperation on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), cyber security, the digital economy, energy, and New Frontier issues.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Politics, Partnerships, Digital Economy, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: East Asia, South Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Yonho Kim
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear tests in 2016 rekindled a stronger voice for independent nuclear armament among South Korean conservatives. It is noteworthy that the pro-nuclear view is mainly driven by feelings of profound frustration and helplessness over North Korea’s growing nuclear threat. To assuage concerns, Washington should start seeking new methods of reassuring its partner of its intention to honor its security commitments. The challenges to the U.S.-ROK alliance sparked by North Korea’s nuclear test also came from the liberals’ fierce criticism of the Park government’s decision to start talks with Washington on THAAD deployment. Opponents of THAAD emphasized potential “security anxiety” associated with THAAD deployment, which they argued would escalate regional tensions and introduce a new Cold War, endangering peace on the Korean Peninsula. The THAAD issue has become a political hot potato that could easily entrap major presidential candidates. To avoid any backlash, the candidates will refuse to choose between China and the U.S. while placing the alliance with the U.S. at the center of South Korea’s foreign policy.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses Japan’s role in Korean security using the quasialliance model. Developed by Professor Victor Cha, the quasi-alliance model to analyze the security relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea, “two states that remain unallied despite sharing a common ally.” Cha defined the quasi-alliance model as “the triangular relationship between two states that are not allied, but share a third party as a common ally.” A key assumption is that the third state serves as the “great-power protector of the two states, and therefore exit opportunities for the two are limited.” While historical issues affected relations between Tokyo and Seoul, American security policies were the primary determinant of cooperation between Japan and Korea. American policy changes produced distinct “abandonment” or “entrapment” responses within the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK security alliances: shared perceptions yielded cooperation, while differing views produced friction. This paper analyzes America’s East Asia policies during the Bush and Obama administrations to assess Japanese and Korean reactions. Analyzed through the quasi-alliance model, American policies produced asymmetric responses in Japan and Korea, inhibiting security cooperation between Tokyo and Seoul. Diverging views of China exacerbated inherent friction between Korea and Japan. Thus, Japan will play a limited role in Korean security.
  • Topic: Security, Grand Strategy, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Seung Hyok Lee
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: When Kim Dae-jung and Koizumi Junichiro visited Pyongyang in 2000 and 2002, their visits facilitated a perception shift toward North Korea in South Korea and Japan. This was a consequence of the two democratic societies expanding and redefining the acceptable boundaries of their national security identities and principles in a changing regional environment. Although the expansion of societal security discourse did not lead extreme ‘revisionists’ to implement drastic strategic policy transformations in either country, it did provoke a ‘mutual security anxiety’ between the South Korean and Japanese publics, as they felt increasingly uncertain about each other's future security trajectory. This mutual anxiety, in which both countries tend to view each other as potential security risk, while overlooking the existence of moderate democratic citizens on the other side, continues to provide a powerful ideational undertone to the bilateral relationship, which contributes to persistent misunderstanding at various levels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Scott W. Harold
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy is beset by numerous simultaneous crises. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to commit massive human rights abuses, while Islamic State jihadis are seizing territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Russia has annexed Crimea and is threatening its neighbors from Ukraine to the Baltics. In Nigeria, Boko Haram is killing students while they sleep and abducting hundreds of young girls to sell into slavery, while the Ebola virus is killing thousands in neighboring West African states. And as if this wasn't enough, in Asia, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea may test another nuclear device, and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea continue to feud over history issues. In light of these challenges, U.S. foreign policy analysts may understandably question the fate of President Obama's signature foreign policy initiative, the `pivot' or `rebalance' to the Asia–Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, Syria, Nigeria
  • Author: Brad Glosserman, Carl Baker
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Duk-min Yun, Wooseon Choi
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The North Korean nuclear problem has entered a new stage as Pyongyang has developed more robust nuclear capabilities with the successful launch of a long - range missile in December 2012, a third nuclear test in 2013, and further missile tests in June 2014. The United States is now beginning to face the real risk that North Korea could soon develop the capability to directly strike the U.S. homeland. This situation has also raised concern among South Koreans about the credibility of extended deterrence provided by the United States. At the same time, the chances of a North Korean provocation have increased as conventional deterrence becomes less important.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The new national security leaders in Japan, the United States, China and the two Koreas have assumed office at a precarious time. Despite the recent relaxation of tensions, conditions are ripe for further conflict in Northeast Asia. The new DPRK leadership is as determined as its predecessor to possess nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles while resisting unification or reconciliation with South Korea and its allies. The new government in Tokyo is also augmenting its military capabilities. Meanwhile, despite Chinese efforts to restart the Six-Party Talks, the Obama administration has refused to engage with the DPRK until it demonstrates a willingness to end its nuclear weapons program and improving intra-Korean ties. But this policy of patiently waiting for verifiable changes in DPRK policies may be too passive in the face of North Korea' s growing military capabilities, leading the new South Korean government, striving to maneuver between Beijing and Washington, to consider new initiatives to restart a dialogue with the North even while reinforcing its own military capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Sue Mi Terry
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Pyongyang under the Kim dynasty has pursued three broad and consistent strategic goals: (1) The pursuit of nuclear weapons program in order to gain international acceptance of the North as a bona fide nuclear weapons state; (2) securing a peace treaty in an effort to remove U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula; and, (3) reunification with South Korea on its own terms—the ultimate if increasingly unrealistic objective. To achieve these goals, the North has followed a policy of brinksmanship with the U.S. and South Korea: provoke when Washington or Seoul seem preoccupied, up the ante in the face of international condemnation, and pivot back to a peace offensive, which usually ends with some form of dialogue and negotiation, culminating, finally, in concessions for the North. This article reviews in detail how such policies have been pursued by Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un. It shows that, while there have been changes in North Korean policy, they have been primarily tactical not strategic—the North has changed how it pursues its goals (sometimes using military forces, at other times covert actions, or even negotiations), but it has remained consistent in its objectives. Not even the regime's literal bankruptcy has convinced the regime to change course, and for good reason: such brinkmanship tactics have paid off for the North by making possible the regime's survival for more than sixty years. Kim Jong-un, accordingly, has continued this strategy. This article ends by suggesting how the U.S. and South Korea should deal with the North's militaristic foreign policy. In brief, the two allies need to break the cycle of provocation by making clear they will no longer reward North Korea's destabilizing behavior while pursuing a longer-term goal of their own.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Eui-Gak Hwang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article will describe the recent status of the North Korean economy and its external trade as well as the derailed North-South economic interaction. Despite several attempts by North Korea to introduce change involving the term 'economic reform', North Korea has not yet advanced during the last thirty years. Its economic deadlocks are owed, first, to its very principles in which economic reform must be permissible only within the set of basic values held by the monoparty about "juche (self-reliant)" socialism. In other words, even partial decentralization is itself being centrally directed and eyed with military-first targets. Second, the North Korean leadership and its supporting elites, the final arbiters deciding how far it is permissible to open its system, are apprehensive that a change in its system would actually lead to the collapse of their established power structure. The fear of reform arbiters regarding a revolutionary bottom-up movement has played a role in inhibiting action. North-South economic cooperation as well as the resistance to North's external openness must also be considered for its potential positive and negative effects on the people in the monarchic hermit kingdom. North Korea is likely to remain little changed as long as Kim's family continues its current rule. The only chance for real change may occur if the young and liberal Kim Jung-eun wakes up and agrees to unite with South Korea.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: WooJin Kang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: What sources of information do individuals turn to in making the decision to participate in elections? Do the contextual factors matter in this decision? This study attempts to answer these important but understudied questions in electoral politics in emergent democracies. Based on the 2004 Korean legislative election, this study elucidates the relevance of the contextual model: in particular, the role of political discussions with others in explaining citizens' decisions to vote. The main findings of this study have implications for the future study of comparative political behavior.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The purpose of this article is to examine recent Japanese-South Korean relations, with an emphasis on the analysis of major issues which have strained Tokyo-Seoul relations since the inauguration of the second Abe government in December 2012. It is a major contention of this article that the souring of recent Japanese-South Korean relations would be attributed largely to the Abe government's revisionist view of wartime history and partly to its attempt to nullify the "Kono Statement" of 1993, which admitted and apologized for Japan's guilt in the forceful recruitment of the "comfort women" before and during World War II, and the 1995 "Murayama statement" in which then-Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi expressed deep remorse and apologized to the victims of Japanese colonialism and militarism before and during World War II. Unless the Abe government discards its revisionist view of wartime history and agrees to abide by these landmark apologies, it will be difficult for Japan to develop close cooperation or partnership with South Korea.
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Kan Kimura, Koji Kagotani, Jeffrey R. Weber
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since its democratization, South Korea's foreign relations with Japan have become increasingly volatile. We investigate the diversionary incentives behind these fluctuations in South Korean foreign policy during 1988–2011. We show evidence that, similar to mature democracies, economic turmoil is driving Korean leaders to divert the public attention toward low-intensity disputes against Japan. However, unlike mature democracies, our results reveal that public approval ratings and national elections do not encourage leaders to engage in the diversionary behavior due to South Korean domestic political institutional settings and party system. These findings highlight challenges to foreign policy making in a new democracy, an issue that has not been considered in detail in the literature. We conclude that although historical antagonism and US commitment to East Asia may affect the Japan–South Korea relationship, economic diversionary incentives significantly determine the fluctuations in Japan–South Korea disputes
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Author: Mark Beeson, Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Middle power theory is enjoying a modest renaissance. For all its possible limitations, middle power theory offers a potentially useful framework for thinking about the behavior of, and options open, to key states in the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, states that are secondary rather than primary players. We argue that middle powers have the potential to successfully implement 'games of skill', especially at moments of international transition. Frequently, however, middle powers choose not to exercise their potential influence because of extant alliance commitments and the priority accorded to security questions. We sub-stantiate these claims through an examination of the Australian case. Australian policymakers have made much of the potential role middle powers might play, but they have frequently failed to develop an independent foreign policy position because of pre-existing alliance commitments. We suggest that if the 'middle power moment' is to amount to more than rhetoric, opportunities must be acted upon.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Timothy Rich
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: What explains patterns in North Korea's own coverage of nuclear issues? The conventional wisdom assumes that North Korea focuses its attention on the United States and that changes in the administrations in the United States and South Korea influence such rhetoric, yet this remains largely untested. Content analysis using daily English news reports from the Korean Central News Agency from 1997 through 2012 provides an explicit base for how the regime attempts to frame nuclear issues for a foreign audience. References to the United States positively correlate with nuclear reference while findings regarding US and South Korean administrations conflict with the conventional wisdom. References to the Kims also negatively correlate with nuclear references with variation after Kim Jong Il's death. More broadly this analysis suggests the possible leverage of analyzing North Korea's own materials.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Takamichi Mito
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This book by Kent Calder successfully demonstrates the growing geopolitical ties between oil and gas producers and consumers around the central Eurasian continent, which spreads from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and the former Soviet Union to India, China, South Korea and Japan; this vast area he terms the New Silk Road. According to Calder, these ties are being institutionalized, a development he terms the 'new continentalism'. This is brought by a series of critical junctures in geopolitics and the growing economic needs of oil and gas producers and consumers in the region. These junctures signify major policy changes caused by international or domestic factors, such as, the oil crises of the 1970s; Deng Xiaoping's Four Modernizations in China, which started in 1978; India's financial crisis, which led to economic reforms from 1991; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and the rise of Vladimir Putin in 1999. These subsequently brought about a series of politico-economic realignments; nationally, regionally, and internationally, a pre-requisite to the rise of the new continentalism.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, South Korea
  • Author: Vinícius Rodrigues Vieira
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Between the 1960s and the 1970s, Brazil and South Korea adopted similar strategies of development under authoritarian rule: an import substitution industrialisation (ISI) programme later replaced by export strategies (ES), namely, export promotion (EP) in Brazil and export-led growth (EG) in Korea. However, whereas Korea was successful, Brazil began the 1980s facing socio-economic crisis because of imbalances in external accounts. Through the analysis of institutions, organisations, and economic indicators, I conclude that the social-political structure (defined as the institutions and organisations within the economic, political, and social levels) of each nation shaped differently the opportunities given by changes in the organisation of the domestic economy and international contexts between 1945 and 1985. The social-political institutions, which last longer than organisations, come mainly from Portuguese (in the case of Brazil) and Japanese (in the case of South Korea) colonisation. Therefore, the impact of historical junctures, such as economic transformations influenced by changes at the international level, might be restricted to organisations at the domestic level as institutions related to pre-industrial periods persist and constrain the reach of modernisation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Brazil, Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: So far this year, ups and downs on the Korean Peninsula have coincided conveniently with Comparative Connections' deadlines. Had this journal still been published quarterly, as it used to, our first report of 2013 would have come out in the middle of what we can now look back on as North Korea's spring saber-rattling. Most of that was rhetoric, albeit extreme even by DPRK standards. The main actual event, the suspension of the joint venture Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), broke just as we would have been going to press. But as it was, Comparative Connections' now thrice-yearly schedule enabled us to cover this lengthy hissy-fit in its entirety. This time the date fit is not quite so neat, but as of early September it is a relief to report that inter-Korean relations are on the up again; they could hardly have gone lower. This has been an interesting four months. Pyongyang abruptly changed its tune, demanding the immediate reopening of the KIC no less peremptorily than it had earlier closed it. Both attitudes were exasperating and hard to explain, but at least the North's new “peace offensive” offers some hope of a more constructive approach. At the same time this challenged the South, forcing it to put flesh on the bones of President Park Geun-Hye's “trustpolitik” and make hard decisions on two levels: what principles to adopt in dealing with a now partly more pliant North and – on that basis – how precisely to respond on a whole range of immediate concrete issues. This was a steep learning curve, which the new ROK administration mostly handled with a skillful mix of firmness and flexibility – except for one mistaken and avoidable row over protocol, discussed below, which delayed the rapprochement by a month or so.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Jiun Bang, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea-Japan relations have been frozen for some time and despite the summer heat, no thaw appears likely anytime soon. Although economic interactions continue to deepen between the two countries, and although there is a clear desire – and even a need – to coordinate policies toward North Korea and China, the two countries appear more focused on other issues as their main foreign policy priorities in the short-term. The two recently elected leaders have yet to meet for a summit, a sign that even a symbolic attempt to repair relations is proving difficult. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has grown stronger with a rousing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Upper House elections, yet a number of rhetorical controversies kept attention focused on Abe's foreign policy, particularly toward Korea and China. To date not much has changed and there is little evidence that either Seoul or Tokyo desires improved relations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Author: Anton Eberhard, Katharine Nawaal Gratwick
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Economic and social development depends critically on infrastructure, for which electricity may be among the most important inputs. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has among the lowest rates of electricity access in the world - less than 30 percent. Furthermore, excluding South Africa, SSA is the only region for which per capita consumption of electricity is falling. The total installed capacity in the region amounts to less than South Korea's, and this limited supply is costly and unpredictable, imposing heavy tolls on social and economic development. It has been estimated that about 7,000 megawatts (MW) need to be added each year (2005-2015) to meet suppressed demand and provide additional capacity for electrification expansion. Such an investment would cost approximately $27 billion per year. Presently, funding to the electricity sector (for capital expenditure) is estimated at just $4.6 billion a year; hence, an annual funding gap of more than $20 billion exists. Public sources - utility income and fiscal transfers - contribute only about one-half of current capital investments, highlighting the urgent need for increased private investment, including public-private partnerships. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the push towards private investment in electrical generation dates to the early 1990s, but the journey has not been smooth. Significant lessons may be identified, including: understanding the limited pool of investments, together with the importance of public stakeholders in equity and debt alike; the increasing application of partial risk guarantees (PRGs) to mobilize finance; and the emergence of more non-OECD partners. We note a number of success stories, including Kenya, South Africa and (potentially) Nigeria, whose policy innovations have replication potential in other Sub-Saharan African countries and beyond.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, South Korea, South Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Kevin Massy, John Banks
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Most discussions on nuclear power in the Middle East in recent years have focused predominantly on Iran's suspected weapons program. However, the region is also home to another major nuclear-related trend: it is likely to play host to the first new nuclear energy states of the twenty-first century. While many countries in the broader Middle East have expressed interest in civil nuclear power, three–the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Jordan–have set firm tar- gets for its implementation by the end of this decade. If they are to reach these ambitious goals and if they are to develop and deploy safe, secure, and sustainable civil nuclear power programs, these countries will have to overcome a range of technical, institutional, and, most importantly, human-resource related challenges. Of the countries in the region, the UAE is by far the most advanced in the development of its program. Having made public its interest in civil nuclear power in a white paper in 2008, the country purchased four nuclear reactors the following year from a South Korean consortium and is aiming to have its first reactor connected to the grid in 2017, an extremely ambitious time frame for a newcomer nuclear energy state. Turkey has a long history of attempting to implement civil nuclear power, and its latest agreement with Russia for the provision of four reactors at Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast is, by some counts, its sixth attempt at a commercial-scale program. However, there is good reason to believe that this time will be different for Ankara; the terms provided by Rosatom– the Russian state-controlled nuclear company that will finance, build, and operate the project–shield Turkey from a large amount of financial–if not operational–risk, and the Akkuyu project is due to be operational by 2020. Like Turkey, Jordan has a public goal of de- ploying its first nuclear reactor by the end of the decade. Having reduced its shortlist of nuclear vendors to two bidders (Rosatom and a French-Japanese consortium led by Areva and Mitsubishi), the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission plans to make its final decision in time to start construction of its first plant by the end of 2013.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, South Korea, Jordan, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Klaus Dodds
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic Council (AC) is an inter-governmental organization that, since its creation in 1996, has been widely recognized as one of the most progressive regional bodies in the world. The membership includes the eight Arctic states (A8), six permanent participants, and observer states such as the UK and Germany. From May 2013 onwards, there are also new permanent observers including China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The European Union's candidature has been delayed and subject to further review and assessment. The Council is chaired by one of the eight Arctic states for a two year period. The current chair is Canada (2013- 2015) and it will be followed by the United States (2015- 2017). The permanent participants, including the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council, and Aleut International Association, enjoy full consultative status and may address the meetings of the Council. Administrative support is provided by the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS), which is based in Copenhagen. The AC lies at the heart of debates about Arctic futures. It faces two challenges – institutional evolution and membership. For its supporters, the AC occupies center position in promoting an orderly and cooperative vision for the Arctic, but there is no shortage of commentary and punditry analyzing and predicting a rather different vision for the Arctic. As Paul Berkman asserted in the New York Times, under the heading “Preventing an Arctic Cold War,” there is little room for complacency. Berkman's analysis warned of Arctic and non-Arctic states being increasingly forced to confront difficult issues relating to policing, resource management, accessibility and navigability, alongside environmental protection. His suggestion at the end of the piece appeared, seemed rather odd, “[a]s the head of an Arctic superpower and a Nobel laureate, Mr. Obama should convene an international meeting with President Putin and other leaders of Arctic nations to ensure that economic development at the top of the world is not only sustainable, but peaceful.” Bizarrely, there is little analysis of how, and to what extent, the AC and other bodies, including the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are actively providing “rules of the road” (Berkman's phrase) for the Arctic region and beyond. This piece focuses on some issues that require further attention (such as the protection of the Arctic marine environment) while acknowledging how the AC has changed in the last few years. As a regional body, it operates in a strategic environment where few specialist observers believe that military conflict or destabilizing resource speculation is likely to prevail. Nonetheless, it is a work in progress with pressing demands to address. I will discuss debates about membership status and the institutional evolution to respond to experts' concerns about disasters (which might involve a shipping or drilling accident) and ongoing climate change, including manifestations such as sea ice thinning in the Arctic Ocean
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Korea, Germany
  • Author: Chong-Jin OH, Young-Gil CHAE
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: This study aims to understand the factors and actors of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Turkey in the context of the characteristic cultural and technological conditions of network society. Two contextual factors -time and space- motivate this particular case study. While the consumption of Korean pop cultural products in European countries has noticeably increased, few studies were conducted on Hallyu in the European continent. Especially, network media technologies including blog, SNS, and various online communication platforms enable the international fans to consume Korean cultural products across the time and spatial barriers. In addition, this case study is also interesting because of the shared historical and cultural heritages maintaining and developing cultural linkages between South Korea and Turkey. Thus, this study contextualizes the Hallyu phenomenon in the context of historical, cultural, and technological relations between the two countries.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, India, South Korea
  • Author: Motoshi Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Northeast Asian region has attracted at least two types of international relations analyses. A first type focuses primarily on military and hard security and investigates changes in states' power and the politics of coercion, balance of power, and alliances. A second type is interested in cross-border economic activities, regional interdependence, and institutionalization and then examines the states' policies of development, trade, money, and technology, as well as the politics of institutional building and reform. T.J. Pempel's edited volume synthesizes the two approaches by viewing the mutually shaping interactions between economics and security as a major feature of regional politics. The book is a fruit of collaborative efforts by American, Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese scholars who provide in-depth analyses of recent developments in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, London
  • Author: Gi-Wook Shin
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Anti-American sentiments and slogans swept South Korea during its 2002 presidential campaign. These movements were not new for the country, but for the first time, they had a crucial impact on its alliance with the United States. A second North Korean nuclear stand-off had just occurred, and candidate Roh Moo Hyunʼs vows to continue engagement with the North, despite the crisis, were clearly at odds with the George W. Bush administrationʼs desire to isolate Pyongyang. In the past, such a threat would have led the South to consolidate its alliance with the United States for reasons of national security. Also preceding the 2002 election, a massive wave of anti-American sentiment had erupted in response to the handling of a U.S. military training accident that killed two Korean schoolgirls: Catholic priests went on a hunger strike, and tens of thousands of Koreans—not just activists but middle-class adults—protested against the United States.1 According to a 2003 Pew survey, aside from certain Arab states, France, and Russia, South Korea was identified as one of the most anti-American countries.2 A 2004 RAND report likewise showed that many South Koreansʼ previously positive views of the United States had become increasingly unfavorable.3 As new progressive, nationalist policy elites sought to reassess the U.S. role in inter-Korean relations and unification, the rationale for the alliance was being questioned and became a subject of intense debate within the South.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, South Korea, North Korea, France, Korea
  • Author: Deborah J. Milly
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This book will become a classic on the politics of citizenship in Japan. It is a meticulous study that demonstrates how Korean residents whose families immigrated before the end of World War II have negotiated citizenship in Japan, especially at the local level. Erin Aeran Chung reaches the paradoxical conclusion that their decision not to take Japanese nationality has been a strategic choice to achieve visible citizenship. The author further traces how Koreans' movements have had a profound impact on other foreign residents in Japan.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: William Overholt
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the Hu Jintao era (2002–2012) China's politics, economics, and national security policies have changed almost beyond recognition. The ongoing transformation has been largely obscured by images that dominate many Western minds: Manichean democrats see a jasmine revolution waiting to happen; hedge fund managers see a gigantic bubble waiting to burst; national security executives see China as having perfected an enduring, dynamic state capitalism with Leninist political management that threatens to overwhelm us. These contradictory images share one thing: lacking roots in Chinese reality, they project the hopes and fears of their respective believers. Two decades ago, when writing The Rise of China, I could confidently predict Chinese success based on Deng Xiaoping's emulation of similar policies in South Korea and Taiwan. After three decades of that success, China's future is far less certain today
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, South Korea
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There was a brief period during the past four months –16 days to be precise – when it looked like a breakthrough was possible in the longstanding nuclear stalemate with North Korea; then Pyongyang reverted to form. Shortly after pledging to freeze all nuclear and missile tests, Pyongyang announced a satellite launch, pulling the rug out from under Washington (and itself) and business as usual (or unusual) returned to the Peninsula. The announcement also cast a shadow over the second Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Seoul while providing additional rationale for Washington's “pivot” toward Asia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Washington, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China and South Korea have designated 2012 as a year of friendship to mark 20 years of diplomatic relations. The anniversary may provide a pretext for more active diplomacy to meet a growing list of potential disputes in the relationship, including China's handling of North Korean refugees, illegal fishing in Korean territorial waters, territorial claims, and mutual suspicions regarding approaches toward North Korea. All of this is occurring in a period of political transition in both countries, as South Korea prepares for December elections while China works out a complex leadership transition later this year. Presidents Hu Jintao and Lee Myung-bak have held two summits this year, in Beijing in January and in Seoul on March 26 on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit. On his state visit to China from Jan. 9-11, Lee also met Premier Wen Jiabao and top legislator Wu Bangguo. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met President Lee and ROK counterpart Kim Sung-hwan on March 2 during his visit to Seoul for annual inter¬ministerial consultations. The two foreign ministers also met in Ningbo, China, on April 8 for the sixth China-ROK-Japan Foreign Ministers Meeting. Sino-South Korean diplomatic exchanges have sharpened attention on the prospects for the bilateral partnership in the aftermath of Kim Jong Il's death
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea
75. Sisyphus
  • Author: David C. Kang, Jiun Bang
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The most dramatic events affecting relations in early 2012 concerned North Korea. The power transition appears to be proceeding smoothly, although mixed signals give signs that a clear foreign policy has not yet been worked out by the leadership in Pyongyang. Meanwhile, relations between South Korea and Japan continued on their seemingly disconnected tracks. In economic relations and day-to-day issues, they continue to move closer together on issues from dealing with tax evasion to joint disaster relief planning. Yet, territorial claims or claims about history are a constant irritant that threaten to derail relations at any time. Both sides seemingly wanted relations to worsen by picking fights over Dokdo/Takshima and making claims about history. One could dismiss the squabbling as peripheral to the main relationship, but these disputes hinder coordination and planning over important issues, divert diplomatic attention, and remain salient for domestic politics of both sides.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Ellen Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In May, US-Korea relations were marked by nervousness about a potential crisis with North Korea as telltale signs of activity at Punggye suggested preparations for a third nuclear test. Though a test did not occur, no one is confident that a crisis has been averted. In US-South Korea relations, differences over imports of Iran oil and US beef calmed down without causing a major hiccup. Meanwhile, a number of difficult bilateral negotiations remain unresolved. While there are signs of progress on the New Missile Guidelines (NMG), the civil nuclear talks remain deadlocked. Territorial and historical disputes between Japan and Korea have complicated and frustrated US desires to strengthen trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Japan.
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is very little to be said about relations between the two Koreas in the middle four months of 2012. And under a sensible new dispensation granted by this esteemed journal's editors, I need not pretend otherwise. Usually guilty of over-writing (probably in more senses than one) when there was much to report and comment on, for once this time we shall be brief.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Senior-level dialogue between China and North Korea resumed this summer when head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) International Department Wang Jiarui became the first senior foreign visitor to meet Kim Jong Un. Previously, there had been a great deal of speculation regarding the absence of leadership exchanges since Kim Jong Il's death. Several other high- level exchanges followed. Discussions focused on reconciling priorities and Chinese support for Kim Jung Un's consolidation of power. Although more subdued, there were also several high- level exchanges between China and South Korea as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties, initiated talks on establishing a bilateral free trade agreement, held the second round of strategic defense talks, and sparred over South Korean concerns about human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: T. J. Pempel
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Considerable research has been devoted to unraveling the complicated warp and woof of East Asia's onrushing regionalism. This book breaks from studies that take as the key unit of regional analysis either ASEAN (presumably in ' the regional driver's seat'), all of East Asia (the prevailing template of recent interactions), or the Asia-Pacific (the unit that most accounts for the preeminent East Asian influence of the United States). Calder and Ye argue instead that 'the increasingly intense and profound economic and social interactions within Northeast Asia…' (p. 251) are forging Japan, China, and South Korea into a far more significant 'synergistic entity'. In stressing the cooperative dimension of relations among these three powerful countries, the book not only calls for a new focus for regional analysis, but it also challenges the more traditional treatment of Northeast Asia as a hotbed of geopolitical tensions and rivalries.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Hyon Joo Yoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the 1990s, Japan and the Republic of Korea have chosen dissimilar policy options with respect to the US-led missile defense (MD) systems in East Asia. What explains the two countries' dissimilar MD strategies? Inspired by neoclassical realism, this study introduces a framework of domestic hurdles that combines Randall Schweller's cohesion model and Jeffry Taliaferro's resource extraction model. It sheds light on the degree of elite cohesion and social and economic impediments as key causal determinants that impede balancing against external threats. Although the influence of systemic variables that suppose optimal policy options, such as balancing, domestic hurdles impede or delay such options. This study will provide useful contributions to international relations by offering comparative and theoretical analyses on different paths that Tokyo and Seoul have chosen for their MD policies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, South Korea
  • Author: Linus Hagström
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: How to understand Japan's identity is one of the most enduring themes in research on the country's international relations. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of theoretically innovative analyses, which go beyond, and problematize, the alleged 'peace' identity stipulated by Peter J. Katzenstein (1996) and Thomas U. Berger (1998) in the 1990s. Xavier Guillaume (2011) published a monograph last year, while Alexander Bukh (2010) and Taku Tamaki made one valuable contribution each in 2010. The aim of this article is primarily to review Tamaki's book, but to some extent this is done in light of those other works. Just like Bukh and Guillaume, Tamaki adopts a relational understanding of identity, where the self is defined in opposition to other(s). However, where Bukh analyses the Soviet Union/Russia as Japan's 'other', and Guillaume directs his investigation towards multiculturalism and 'the West', Tamaki's focus is squarely on Japan's relationship with South Korea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, South Korea, Soviet Union
  • Author: Andrew O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A number of commentators have claimed that the strategic relevance of extended nuclear deterrence is declining in the twenty-first century. This claim is based on three key arguments. First, that the positive effects of extended nuclear deterrence have been exaggerated by its proponents; second, that the rational actor logic underpinning extended nuclear deterrence is increasingly redundant; and third, that extended deterrence using conventional weapons is equally, if not more, effective as extended nuclear deterrence. This article applies these arguments to East Asia, a region where nuclear weapons continue to loom large in states' security equations. In applying each of the above arguments to the East Asian context, the analysis finds that not only is extended nuclear deterrence alive and kicking in the region, but also that in the coming decades it is likely to become more central to the strategic policies of the United States and its key allies, Japan and South Korea. Despite predictions of its demise, US extended nuclear deterrence remains a critical element in East Asia's security order and will remain so for the foreseeable future
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Oct. 4, 2010: Japanese Prime Minister Kan Naoto and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEAM) and discuss bilateral relations. Oct. 22, 2010: A group of Japanese and South Korean scholars release a study commissioned by the two governments in which they conclude that Japan"s annexation of Korea was coerced in the face of opposition from Koreans. Oct. 29, 2010: Prime Minister Kan, President Lee, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao meet on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vietnam. Nov. 11-12, 2010: South Korea hosts G20 Summit. Nov. 13-14, 2010: Japan hosts APEC Leaders Meeting.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam
  • Author: Brad Glosserman, Carl Baker
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Sept. 30, 2010: The Koreas hold their first direct military talks (at colonel level) in two years, at Panmunjom. They founder on the wreck of the Cheonan. The South insists on an apology, while the North still demands to send its own inspectors to examine the wreckage. [Ed. Note: Our apologies for incorrectly reporting them as occurring on Oct. 1 in our last issue.] Oct. 1, 2010: At a meeting of their Red Crosses, the two Koreas agree to hold family reunions at the North"s Mt. Kumgang resort Oct. 30-Nov. 5. Oct. 1, 2010: ROK National Assembly confirms Kim Hwang-sik as premier two months after an earlier nominee withdrew. Oct. 2, 2010: North Korea proposes working-level talks on Oct. 15 to discuss ways to restart regular tourism to Mt. Kumgang. Oct. 3, 2010: An unnamed ROK official tells the daily JoongAng Ilbo that in 2007 a senior DPRK diplomat, Ri Gun, inadvertently admitted North Korea"s responsibility for the 1987 bombing of KAL 858, with 115 deaths. Oct. 4, 2010: In Germany for the 20th anniversary of reunifcation, ROK Unification Minister Hyun In-taek says North Korea must change its stance on the Cheonan if it wants the South to consider resuming cross-border tourism.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Ellen Kim
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US and South Korea continued strong solidarity and close policy coordination on North Korea in early 2011. The US made repeated calls for North Korea to improve its relations with South Korea and show sincerity about denuclearization. The Hu Jintao visit to the US in January paved the way for the first inter-Korean talks since the Yeonpyeong shelling, although they collapsed as the two Koreas could not resolve their dispute over the sinking of the Cheonan. Meanwhile, the US and South Korea agreed to pursue a UNSC Presidential Statement that would denounce North Korea's uranium enrichment program. Possible resumption of US food aid and Jimmy Carter's Pyongyang visit were new variables, although neither brought any change. The KORUS FTA looks near its long-awaited passage in the Congress. With both the Obama and Lee administrations making final efforts to clear all political barriers , it appears that the measure will be passed in both countries in the coming months.
  • Topic: National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The first four months of 2011 saw no real improvement in relations between the two Koreas. Their sole official contact, military talks in February, broke up in acrimony after two days. A slight easing of South Korea's aid restrictions in April was in response to dire humanitarian need in the North, and probably does not indicate a wider thaw. There was the hint of back-channel talks, but no progress. The obstacles are familiar. Pyongyang's peace offensive as the year began did not impress Seoul as it failed to deal with two stumbling-blocks: the sinking of the Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. The North continues to deny all responsibility for the former and insists it was provoked into the latter. This appears to be a recipe for stalemate, perhaps for the rest of Lee's presidency, which ends in February 2013 – although in Korea surprises are always possible.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of North Korea's artillery shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, 2010, Chinese officials showed great concern about the possibility of escalation, focusing special concern on the possibility that South Korean military exercises might lead to military escalation. The January summit between Presidents Hu and Obama served to reduce tensions to some degree, especially through a call for resumption of inter-Korean talks in the US-China Joint Statement released at the summit. Following the apparent stabilization of inter-Korean relations, China has stepped up calls for "creating conditions" for the resumption of Six-Party Talks, engaging in diplomatic exchanges with both Koreas, including meetings between Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei and ROK nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac on Feb. 10-11 in Beijing and again on April 26 in Seoul, and through DPRK Vice Minister Kim Kye Gwan's meetings in Beijing with Wu Dawei, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun respectively in mid-April in China. Although South Korea in April agreed to China's proposed "three-step" process toward restarting Six Party Talks – (1) Inter-Korean, (2) US-DPRK, and (3) Six-Party Talks – this plan makes the resumption of multilateral talks depend most critically on reaching consensus on the preconditions for inter-Korean talks, which remain stalled since a preparatory meeting for inter-Korean defense ministers' talks broke down in February.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Ellen Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The summer months saw a potentially new cycle of US-DPRK dialogue. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's invitation to DPRK Vice-Minister Kim Kye Gwan to visit New York for two days of official talks raised the specter that the North may be ready for re-engagement. Meanwhile, South Korea named a new unification minister, which some perceive to be the harbinger of a shift in its North Korea policy. But reliable sources say that President Lee Myung-bak will not cave so easily on his principles. Elsewhere, the Korea-US free trade agreement remains in limbo as it remains caught in partisan strife within the legislatures of both countries and the US received another lesson in Korea's preferred terminology for Asian geography.
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Just for once, Comparative Connections' deadline chimed neatly with events on the Korean Peninsula. Late on the evening of Aug. 30, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, as part of a mini-reshuffle affecting four Cabinet positions, finally replaced his long-term hard-line unification minister, former academic Hyun In-taek. With Lee's characteristic cronyism, the man nominated to replace Hyun was another of his close advisers – geography professor Yu Woo-ik, once Lee's chief of staff in the Blue House and latterly ROK ambassador to China.
  • Political Geography: Russia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: High-level exchanges between China and South Korea's foreign and defense ministries appeared to recover momentum as the two countries marked their 19th anniversary of diplomatic relations on Aug. 24. The first China-ROK “strategic defense dialogue” was held in Seoul on July 27 following talks between Defense Ministers Liang Guanglie and Kim Kwan-jin in Beijing on July 15 and in Singapore on June 4 on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue. Foreign Ministers Yang Jiechi and Kim Sung-hwan met June 6 ahead of the Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers Meeting in Budapest and held another round of talks July 21 in Bali on the sidelines of ASEAN regional meetings. But efforts to consolidate the China-ROK strategic partnership have exposed policy differences over North Korea and the ROK alliance relationship with the US.
  • Topic: Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: David C. Kang, Jiun Bang
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea and Japan are neighbors that are advanced, technologically sophisticated capitalist economies with capable and well-educated populations, and are fully consolidated liberal democracies. They share an alliance with the US, and generally view themselves as stalwart regional allies. As has been the case for many years, relations between them during the past four months were relatively stable, with increasingly deep economic relations, voluminous cultural flows, and general agreement on a strategy of isolation toward North Korea. They also share a tendency to provoke each other over their shared history and the ownership of several islets that sit between them. When this happens, the media goes into a frenzy, breathlessly reporting the latest incident. But which is reality? Do the historical disputes meaningfully affect their bilateral relations? On the one hand, yes: they could cooperate more closely on issues such as military coordination and a free-trade agreement. On the other hand, no: it's not at all clear that historical issues are holding up cooperation and relations are deeper across a range of issues.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Ellen Kim, Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's state visit to the US was a big event that attested to the strength of the two countries' relationship and the personal ties between Presidents Obama and Lee. The timely passage of the KORUS FTA in the US was the big deliverable for the summit. Final ratification of the FTA in both countries clears one longstanding issue and lays the foundation for greater economic integration and a stronger alliance. Meanwhile, the most shocking news for the final third of the year was the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in late December. His death disrupted US-DPRK bilateral talks as North Korea observed a mourning period for its late leader. The US and South Korea spent the last two weeks of December quietly watching developments in North Korea as the reclusive country accelerated its succession process to swiftly transfer power to the anointed successor, Kim Jong Un.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No reader of Comparative Connections needs telling that Kim Jong Il, North Korea's leader since 1994, died of a heart attack on Dec. 17. (The wider public is something else. The young woman who looks after this writer's baby had never heard of Korea, much less North Korea, or that anything had happened there. We specialists should never assume too much.)
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Chicago
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Beijing underscored maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula following Kim Jong Il's death. DPRK leadership succession raises questions about the future direction of China's Korea policy, which was most recently reaffirmed during an October visit to the two Koreas by Vice Premier Li Keqiang, the presumed successor of Premier Wen Jiabao. Prior to Kim's death, China and North Korea maintained regular contacts with senior national, party, and military officials. There have also been mutual efforts to stabilize Sino-South Korean relations despite many differences that have risen in the aftermath of North Korea's 2010 provocations. The fourth China-ROK high-level strategic dialogue was held on Dec. 27 in Seoul.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: David C. Kang, Jiun Bang
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last four months of 2011 were dominated by two leadership changes – the mid-December death of Kim Jong Il and the election of Noda Yoshihiko in September. Kim's death is a watershed event that could mean changes in DPRK policies with repercussions around the region. South Korea and Japan reacted cautiously to the news of Kim's death and the rise of his son, Kim Jong Un, as the new leader of North Korea. Beyond this event, however, Korea-Japan relations showed little change. Economic relations between South Korea and Japan continue to move slowly forward, even as they remain firmly stuck arguing the same issues that have aggravated diplomatic relations for decades. North Korea-Japan relations also showed little change as both sides repeated the usual accusations, but neither showed any inclination to change. Meanwhile, there were three main trends in relations. First, external forces drove state behavior as evidenced by the almost domino-like efforts at free trade agreements. Second, there was growing recognition of the high domestic political costs associated with non-pliable issues such as the comfort women/sex slaves. Third, there was a realization that change could mean opportunity as Seoul and Tokyo contemplate the post-Kim Jong Il landscape in North Korea.
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Tokyo, Korea
  • Author: Douglas Paal, Charles Glaser, Shyu-tu Lee
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: MISREADING CHINA'S INTENTIONS Shyu-tu Lee According to Charles Glaser, the prospects for avoiding war between the United States and China are good ("Will China's Rise Lead to War?" March/April 2011). But by ignoring China's history and economic policy and other relevant factors, Glaser arrives at policy prescriptions that would increase the chance of a Chinese nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland. Glaser misjudges Chinese motives. China's military modernization is not primarily motivated by insecurity, as he asserts. China is not threatened by the United States or any of its neighbors. It is advocating its model of governance -- managed capitalism combined with one-party authoritarianism -- as a more efficient alternative to a free-market economy and democracy. China's mission is to regain its place as the dominant superpower so that the country can cleanse itself of the humiliation it has experienced at the hands of the West. The rise of China poses grave challenges to U.S. security. Beijing implements a mercantilist trade policy and artificially sets a low value on its currency to promote exports, thus creating a large U.S. trade deficit with China year after year. Its army has been modernizing at a rapid pace, developing anti-access, area-denial weapons and cyber- and space-warfare capabilities. Meanwhile, China wants to integrate Taiwan because its democracy threatens Beijing's autocratic and repressive rule. In addition, Beijing needs Taiwan as a military base from which to project power into the Indian and Pacific oceans. To keep the peace, the United States must discard the culture of excessive deference to Beijing and implement policies to maintain U.S. military superiority, stanch the flow of U.S. wealth to China, steer China toward democratization, strengthen its alliances with Japan and South Korea, and engage China in an economic and strategic dialogue to promote fair trade and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea
  • Author: Park Geun-hye
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On August 15, 1974, South Korea's Independence Day, I lost my mother, then the country's first lady, to an assassin acting under orders from North Korea. That day was a tragedy not only for me but also for all Koreans. Despite the unbearable pain of that event, I have wished and worked for enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula ever since. But 37 years later, the conflict on the peninsula persists. The long-simmering tensions between North and South Korea resulted in an acute crisis in November 2010. For the first time since the Korean War, North Korea shelled South Korean territory, killing soldiers and civilians on the island of Yeonpyeong. Only two weeks earlier, South Korea had become the first country outside the G-8 to chair and host a G-20 summit, welcoming world leaders to its capital, Seoul. These events starkly illustrated the dual reality of the Korean Peninsula and of East Asia more broadly. On the one hand, the Korean Peninsula remains volatile. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea, the modernization of conventional forces across the region, and nascent great-power rivalries highlight the endemic security dilemmas that plague this part of Asia. On the other hand, South Korea's extraordinary development, sometimes called the Miracle on the Han River, has, alongside China's rise, become a major driver of the global economy over the past decade. These two contrasting trends exist side by side in Asia, the information revolution, globalization, and democratization clashing with the competitive instincts of the region's major powers. To ensure that the first set of forces triumphs, policymakers in Asia and in the international community must not only take advantage of existing initiatives but also adopt a bolder and more creative approach to achieving security. Without such an effort, military brinkmanship may only increase -- with repercussions well beyond Asia. For this reason, forging trust and sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula represents one of the most urgent and crucial tasks on Asia's list of outstanding security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Yanzhong Huang
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Although China has made remarkable economic progress over the past few decades, its citizens' health has not improved as much. Since 1980, the country has achieved an average economic growth rate of ten percent and lifted 400–500 million people out of poverty. Yet Chinese official data suggest that average life expectancy in China rose by only about five years between 1981 and 2009, from roughly 68 years to 73 years. (It had increased by almost 33 years between 1949 and 1980.) In countries that had similar life expectancy levels in 1981 but had slower economic growth thereafter -- Colombia, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Korea, for example -- by 2009 life expectancy had increased by 7–14 years. According to the World Bank, even in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, which had much higher life expectancy figures than China in 1981, those figures rose by 7–10 years during the same period.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Malaysia, Asia, South Korea, Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Hong Kong
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Richard Katz, Michael Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: TROUBLE ON THE HOME FRONT Richard Katz A decade ago, the great American jobs train fell off its tracks. Traditionally, boosts in private-sector employment have accompanied recoveries from economic downturns. In the first seven years after the beginning of the 1980 and 1990 recessions, for example, the number of private-sector jobs increased by 14 percent. Yet in January 2008, seven years after the previous pre-recession peak and before the most recent recession began, private-sector jobs were up only four percent. Today, for the first time in the postwar era, there are fewer of these jobs than there were ten years before. Ignoring the overall dearth of jobs, Michael Spence (“The Impact of Globalization on Income and Unemployment,” July/August 2011) singles out the fraction of employment in sectors related to trade. He claims that China and other developing countries have taken U.S. jobs and blames globalization for the substantial increase in income inequality across the country. It is misleading, he says, to argue that “the most important forces operating on the structure of the U.S. economy are internal, not external.” He is wrong: the fault lies not in China or South Korea but at home.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, America, South Korea
  • Author: Donald P. Gregg
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The good news out of the Koreas is that President Barack Obama, as no other president before him, has recognized that South Korea is America's most reliable and active ally in Asia. The President mentioned South Korea in his January 25 State of the Union speech far more than any other country, praising its teachers, its technical prowess, its growing economic status, and urging quick ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. If any further proof of Seoul's current status was needed, David Sanger in The New York Times of February 20, 2011, said flatly, “South Korea…is now Washington's favorite ally in Asia.”
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington, Asia, South Korea, Sinai Peninsula