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  • 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: Elton J. Chun
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the Republic of Korea concluded the 10th Special Measures Agreement on February 10, 2019. The two countries agreed to a one-year agreement after difficult negotiations in which Washington demanded that Seoul increase the amount paid to offset the costs of stationing American forces in Korea. Since 1991, Washington and Seoul have concluded 10 Special Measures Agreements. Unlike the previous five-year agreement, the 10th SMA was a “stopgap deal” that covered a one year of bilateral defense budgets with an option of extending the agreement for an additional year; it was the first SMA negotiated by the Trump administration. This article examines the 10th Special Measures Agreement, exploring the history of defense cost sharing between the two countries, effects on South Korea, implications for coordinating policy on North Korea, and influences on Japan, Russia, and China. The article concludes with an assessment on how the 10th Special Measures Agreement and other factors will affect future agreements.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: George Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. administrations have opted to negotiate with North Korea in an attempt to curb its nuclear ambitions. Rather than producing their intended effect, past negotiations have inadvertently served as a vehicle for North Korea to methodically achieve its nuclear objectives. This paper presents evidence of North Korea’s decades-old drive to maneuver through negotiations while also advancing its nuclear development, including its resistance to sign the IAEA safeguards agreement and its subsequent demands under the Agreed Framework which allowed Pyongyang to advance the clandestine portions of its nuclear program. The paper also explains, more specifically, how North Korea has used the negotiating process with the U.S. to achieve its objectives. Nuclear negotiations have followed a repeating cycle, with North Korea: (1) getting to the negotiating table; (2) agreeing to a freeze under a system of verification; (3) obstructing the verification process intended to monitor the freeze and then (4) blaming the U.S. for the ultimate collapse of the agreement while continuing to advance its weapons program. Finally, the paper uses the ‘repeating cycle’ framework above to assess events that have occurred during the Trump administration in order to predict probable future outcomes.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, War, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: China has great power over both Koreas, but its influence looks to be at its peak. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that the two Koreas are moving closer together and in the process shutting out outsiders. Moreover, the U.S., as it seeks to disarm North Korea, is pursuing policies undercutting Beijing’s role on the peninsula. And to make matters worse, China is beginning to limit its own effectiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, 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: Soyoung Kwon
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The view of convergence in terms of how former socialist countries change invites questions about cases of non-transition and their typological regime features. This paper examines the North Korean regime to assess its unique path of post-communist transition and analyzes behavioral explanations for the divergent outcome. A combination of institutional and behavioral features point to a countryspecific development, which may have taken a distinctive path due to different historical experiences, leadership features, legitimation, and political culture. This also invites a new comparative perspective on the remaining socialist countries in Asia in order to discuss the prospects and challenges of political change within the framework of transition from the authoritarian rule.
  • Topic: Politics, Regime Change, Authoritarianism, Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea