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  • 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: Bradley O. Babson
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The North Korean economic system is the product of a variety of influences that have shaped its evolution. To understand this system and its challenges today, it is necessary to appreciate North Korea’s unique history and dynamics of change, both internally and externally. These factors have shaped national economic policies and behavior of state and non-state actors in ways that are different than has been the case in other transition economies following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This paper reviews the evolution of the North Korean economic system under the terms of its three leaders; assesses the impacts of recent developments on the system, including UN Security Council Resolution 2270, closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and Seventh Party Congress; and discusses the fundamental challenges facing the economic system today and implications for future engagement policies by the international community. Despite its isolation and many difficult challenges, the North Korean economic system has proven more resilient and adaptive to changing circumstances than many outside observers have expected. A clearer understanding of the limits and opportunities for international economic engagement with North Korea should be a consideration in strategies to address the long-standing security challenges that North Korea poses to its neighbors and the world.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Reform, Economic structure, Economic Development , Engagement
  • Political Geography: East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Captain Sukjoon Yoon
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Regional maritime security has clearly wanted improved structures and mechanisms since early 2010. In 2011 Dr. Sam Bateman published an article, "Solving the 'Wicked Problems' of Maritime Security: Are Regional Forums up to the Task?" identifying a number of intractable problems. Recently, Bateman's list has been overshadowed by a variety of new 'wicked problems' and all parties continue to dig the hole deeper. These new issues faced by the East Asian nations include: the impact of domestic politics upon maritime security, the difficulty of striking a balance between the US and China, the struggle for self-reliant defense through rearming, the dearth of alternative models for maritime cooperation, the blurring of operational roles between navies and coastguards, and the reluctance to turn to legal mechanisms of dispute resolution. In Bateman's original exposition, the 'wicked problems' were directly applicable to current maritime security, but denoted some negative outlook. This paper is hopeful that the nations of the region might be willing to put the past behind them, so that some of the mounting catalog of issues can be resolved. If effective solutions are ever to be found, then the nations in dispute will inevitably have to adopt a more flexible mindset and break out of the perilous and unproductive cycles of action and reaction. The key aim of this paper is to identify trust-building strategies through which the nations of the region can mitigate their quarrels and collaborate in solving the challenges of regional maritime security, including both old and new 'wicked problems'.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: Hugo Wheegook Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: There is a vast literature that examines the American containment approach to communism throughout the Cold War era. However, few authors focus on the flip side of U.S. Cold War policy: constraint. In addition to their distaste for communism, Americans also feared "rogue" anti-communist allies dragging the U.S. into a larger-scale war with their common communist enemies. This fear especially applied to the South Korean authoritarian state under Syngman Rhee, who harnessed rabid anti-communism both to legitimize his rule and to try to embroil the U.S. in further conflict on the Korean peninsula. In order to exercise greater influence over such "rogue allies" as Syngman Rhee's South Korea, the U.S. opted to pursue strong bilateral alliances in East Asia, where they feared entrapment the most. As a result, solid relationships like the U.S.-ROK alliance came to dominate the East Asian security architecture, leaving little space for East Asian multilateralism to take root.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Hugo Wheegook Kim
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Korean peninsula continues to be a geostrategic and economic nexus for Northeast Asia. As such, relations involve economic, social, historical, and larger regional issues, as well as the nuclear issue. While the specifics are yet to emerge, this article surveys the Obama administration's strategic approach to the region and the peninsula, concluding that it is working with a broad tradition of U.S. approaches to the region: engage China, uphold traditional alliances, and contain the North Korean threat. The economic crisis has affected the specifics of this grand strategy, but not the overall U.S. approach to East Asia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia, North Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Patrick M. Morgan
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In a nutshell, the ROK-US alliance faces the following problem: for some time the military and political dimensions of the alliance have been out of alignment on adjusting to the international and national security issues that concern the alliance. In many ways the alliance should be doing well. After all, over time North Korea has become steadily weaker as an international actor, while those who explicitly oppose many elements of its foreign and domestic policies have grown in number, including all its immediate neighbors. The promising opening to the outside world that the North undertook after signing the Agreed Framework has been sharply devalued and it is back to being quite isolated. The economic recovery the North had begun earlier in this decade seems to have slowed. It is difficult to see how the North has benefited in any serious way from its missile tests or its test of a nuclear device. The alliance's goal of containing and deterring North Korea is well in hand – the DPRK has made no great breakout politically from containment and is militarily even weaker relative to the alliance than before, despite its missile and nuclear weapons programs. In addition, the alliance partners have been doing reasonably well in the East Asian system: flourishing economically, modernizing militarily. Despite all this the alliance has been under great strain in this decade, with much recrimination between the allies, so numerous analysts have suggested that it is not at all healthy. In this case, at least, success has been breeding decay.
  • Political Geography: East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Terence Roehrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: There is little doubt that portions of the strategic and economic paradigm in East Asia and for U.S.-East Asia relations have in general been changing in dramatic ways for the past ten to fifteen years. Several contributing factors are well known: China's economic rise along with the potential strategic and political role it is likely to play in the future; the possibility of a more assertive Japan that may revise its constitution in an effort to become a “normal” country; and South Korea, in possession of greater economic, military and political power accompanied by the confidence to be a more significant player in the region. Moreover, even the notion of “East Asia” may be less and less relevant as economic integration is no longer bound by old geographic delineations, particularly with the region's growing economic and political ties with Southeast Asia and India, ties that are breaking down some of these regional distinctions. Finally, the United States is facing a more confident and multipolar Asia that is organizing to play a greater role in controlling its future and increasingly will require a different approach than in the past.
  • Political Geography: United States, India, East Asia, Asia, Angola, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Choong Nam Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea (Korea hereafter) has represented one of the most successful cases in the history of nation building. The country, known as “an East Asian model of economic prosperity and political democracy,” emerged as a modern nation in a single generation and under the most trying circumstances—the legacy of colonial rule, national division, the Korean War and continual confrontation with the Communist North. Its success in nation building is extraordinary, not only in the history of this country, but also in comparison with other third world countries.
  • Political Geography: East Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Young Whan Kihl
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: A popular Korean saying right after World War II in 1945, as shown below, attests to the Korean people's generally distrustful sentiment toward outside powers. This sentiment of realism also seems to be reflected in both North and South Korea today.
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Korea
  • Author: Youngshik D. Bong, Heoun Joo Jung
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Regionalism has surfaced as one of the focal points in international relations in the new millennium. There has been a dramatic increase in the creation of new regional trading agreements (RTAs) in the past decade. By early 2004, the number of RTAs submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has doubled in the past decade. More than 273 agreements have been negotiated, 190 of which have come into force.
  • Political Geography: East Asia, South Korea, Chile