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  • Author: J. Marshall Unger
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: On the basis of the comparative method, developed over more than two centuries of empirical study, the best results to date are that the presentday Korean and Japanese languages had a common source, called protoKorean-Japanese. Korean and Japanese are more similar to one another than either is to any of the languages spoken in adjacent parts of Asia. That is as far as pure linguistics takes us at present. Other scientific disciplines must be utilized to determine when and where proto-Korean-Japanese was spoken, when its speakers separated into pre-Korean and pre-Japanese groups, and when the descendants of those groups resumed contact on the Korean peninsula prior to the migration of most pre-Japanese speakers to Japan.
  • Topic: Migration, History, Linguistics, Language
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: About 80 percent of the estimated 70,000 to 200,000 ”comfort women” Japan took by coercion from 1932 to 1945 were Korean. The issue was long neglected by both countries for pragmatic reasons. When Korean women raised the issue around 1990 and the former comfort woman Kim Hak-sun came out in 1991, it emerged as a point of dispute. Solidarity organizations in both countries have contributed to raise the visibility of the issue. Museums in Seoul and Tokyo educate the public on victims’ suffering. However, increased awareness has not succeeded in producing a solution to the issue that satisfies both countries given their fixed positions. Japan has given no official apology to the victims. The crucial issue of legal responsibility remains unresolved. On December 28, 2015, Japan expressed an apology and agreed to provide $8.3 million for a foundation to be established by South Korea to support the victims. However, the issue remains unresolved since the victims were not consulted in advance of the agreement, as well as disagreement also on other issues.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Women, History , Memory, Sexual Violence, Comfort Women
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, 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: 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: Bruce Bennett
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States have maintained a strong security alliance for 60 years. Throughout that period, North Korea has posed continuing threats that have evolved significantly in recent years. Because North Korea is a failing state, the ROK and the United States must seek to deter, and, if necessary, defeat a range of North Korean challenges, from provocations to major war. They must also be prepared to deal with a North Korean government collapse. All of these challenges potentially involve a ROK/US offensive into North Korea to unify Korea, with significantly different force requirements than the historical defense of Seoul.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, 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: Hong Nack Kim
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of Kim Jong-Il's death in December 2011, China clearly wanted a more cooperative new North Korean regime which would help stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The Kim Jong-Il regime had been a political liability and economic burden to China, as it defied the international community by perpetrating numerous provocations and crises. In order to avert a major conflict on the Korean Peninsula, Beijing had to bail out the Kim Jong-Il regime by defusing the crises created by North Korea's saber-rattling behavior and brinkmanship. Clearly, China did not want to repeat or endure a similar relationship with the new North Korean regime under Kim Jong-Un. This article seeks to examine China's policy toward the Kim Jong-Un regime from December 2011 to the present. In spite of initial optimism, Beijing has been disappointed by the Kim Jong-Un regime's defiant actions, such as the two ballistic missile tests in 2012 and the third nuclear test in February 2013. These developments inevitably raise serious doubts about China's ability to rein in the belligerent Kim Jong-Un regime. It is a major contention of this paper that it will be difficult for China to "tame" the Kim regime unless China is willing to reset its diplomatic priorities from seeking to prevent the collapse of Kim's regime to halting North Korea's provocations that may ignite a major conflict on the Korean Peninsula. The surest way to achieve this change will be through the effective utilization of economic sanctions to enhance the efficacy of the diplomatic measures on which it has relied too long and too singlemindedly.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Korea, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Bruce Klingner
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Shaken by North Korea's two deadly attacks in 2010, the Lee Myungbak Administration recalibrated ongoing defense reform plans to enable South Korea's military to protect the country more effectively. President Lee's Defense Reform 307 plan sought to redress many of South Korea's security shortcomings, but Seoul remained hampered by demographic and fiscal constraints. Indeed, questions remained as to whether the government would fully fund South Korea's defense needs, defense budget shortfalls having delayed previous reform efforts. However, South Korea does not bear its security burden alone and its alliance with the United States will continue to play an irreplaceable role in maintaining peace and stability throughout East Asia. Washington should therefore continue to ensure South Korea's security through robust U.S. military deployments in the Pacifica and with an extended deterrence guarantee. While North Korean threats will remain the paramount focus of the U.S.-South Korean alliance, neither country should lose sight of the benefits of Seoul's "going global" with its political, economic, and military capabilities.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: David S. Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article argues that to deal with North Korean provocations, the Alliance must take a holistic strategic approach to the entire North Korean problem. As long as the Kim family regime continues a strategic approach focused on regime survival, reunification of the peninsula under its control, attaining recognition as a nuclear power and trying to remove US forces from the peninsula, it will continue to use provocations as part of its strategy while oppressing its people and conducting illicit activities around the world. The Alliance has taken a piecemeal or stovepipe approach to the complex problems posed by North Korea with various organizations and senior officials responsible for a specific portfolio with no apparent effective synchronization among them. All activities of the Alliance must be focused on achieving an overall end state that is in concert with the 2009 Joint Vision Statement emphasizing peaceful reunification and ultimately answering the so called "Korea Question" that the 1953 Armistice said must be answered. By synchronizing ways and means toward this end, the Alliance can effectively deal with provocations while working to shape the conditions necessary for reunification. However, it must be understood that the foundation for the Alliance strategy rests upon readiness of the combined military forces.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Korea