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  • 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