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  • 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: David Straub
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Shortly before his election as South Korea’s president in May 2017, candidate Moon Jaein issued his most detailed North Korea policy statement. As president, he declared, he would “inherit” the engagement-based, inducements-oriented Sunshine Policy approach of Korea’s only other progressive presidents, Kim Dae-jung (1998-2003) and Roh Moohyun (2003-2008)1. Moon judged the North Korea policies of his immediate predecessors a failure; Presidents Lee Myung-bak (2008-2013) and Park Geun-hye (2013-2017), both conservatives, had disagreed with key aspects of the Sunshine Policy and suspended the major inter-Korean projects undertaken by Kim and Roh. Moon’s emphasis on incentives to Pyongyang contrasted with United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted during the preceding decade; far from offering inducements, the UNSC had imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on the regime in response to its accelerating pursuit of a full-fledged nuclear weapons capability. Moon also struck quite a different tone than the new Trump administration in Washington, which had only recently concluded a North Korea policy review and characterized its approach as one of “maximum pressure and engagement. This chapter assesses Moon’s North Korea policy, its implementation during his initial year in office, and its prospects under difficult circumstances. It begins by reviewing the Sunshine Policy concept, its practice by previous progressive governments, and the significantly different approach of South Korea’s succeeding conservative administrations. It then argues that Moon and many progressives continue to believe in the basic Sunshine Policy approach, even though, unlike when the policy was first formulated, North Korea now already has a limited nuclear weapons capability and may soon be able to credibly threaten the United States homeland with nuclear attack. It reviews how Moon, as president, has attempted to salvage the policy and how North Korea and other concerned countries have responded. The chapter concludes by considering the prospects for Moon’s North Korea policy and offering recommendations to modify it to maximize the interests of both the ROK and the international community as a whole.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: During his first year as president, Moon Jae-in faced a challenging strategic environment and divergent advice on how to manage it. He could cater to his progressive base and act in accord with his political lineage by renewing the Sunshine Policy toward North Korea. Alternatively, he could strive for consensus at home by reconciling the differences with conservatives in foreign policy. In diplomacy with the great powers, he also had important choices to make. He could double down on the U.S. alliance or, going further, he could agree to trilateralism with Japan. Yet, he also could be tempted by the option of balancing dependence on the United States with a closer relationship with China. Impacting all of his choices was the question of how Kim Jong-un would focus in 2018, shifting from provocations aimed at military leverage to diplomacy linked to his outlook on Moon’s policies. In the following five chapters authors explore each of these options. This introduction reviews some of their findings and points to linkages among them as part of an overall assessment of how Moon has navigated among the choices he was facing. The following chapters set forth the options that Moon Jae-in has before him. Chapter 1 by David Straub seeks to grasp the appeal of a renewed Sunshine Policy to Moon, while spelling out the implications of taking that route, warning of a breach in trust with the United States if not a temporary welcome from Donald Trump eager for a Nobel Peace Prize. Leif Eric-Easley’s analysis in Chapter 2 assesses the prospects of Moon doubling down on the ROK alliance with the United States and argues that, so far, trust between allies has been sustained, including in 2018 as diplomacy intensified with summitry on the agenda. In Chapter 3 John Delury examines the domestic political environment, pointing to the impact of the Candlelight movement, which offers opportunities for Moon as well as constraints on policies he might adopt. Chung Jae Ho in Chapter 4 explores Sino-ROK relations and the prospects of Moon drawing closer to China with consequences for relations with the United States. A fifth chapter by Sheila Smith focuses on Japan-ROK relations, newly strained by different approaches to diplomacy with Kim Jong-un. Each chapter views Moon’s policies and proclivities in the context of the dynamics of bilateral ties, while following closely what has been happening to those ties during the tumultuous course of Moon’s first year in office, notably in the first third of 2018 as diplomacy intensified.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • 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: Alexander Fomenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: INTHELATTERHALF of the 1940s, due to Japan's defeat in World War the political landscape in the Far East significantly changed the balance of forces seeking political domination in this part of the world. Leaders of all democratic victor nations, simultaneously but for different reasons, shifted their support from Chiang Kai-shek and his government of “reactionary” Nationalists to “progressive” Chinese Communists.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Korea
  • Author: Tariq Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Donor governments are prioritizing aid 'results' in advance of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HFL4) in Busan, Korea, due to take place at the end of 2011. But there is a real risk that their efforts will lead to a poorly designed results policy that could undo years of work to make aid more useful for fighting poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the last quarter of 2009 relations between the two Koreas maintained the slight improvement seen since late August, when two senior Northern figures visited Seoul and met the hitherto excoriated President Lee Myung-bak. This easing is a relief compared to the first year and a half of Lee's presidency, during which North-South ties went from bad to worse. Yet it is premature to suggest any substantial improvement – much less a return to the engagement of the “Sunshine” decade (1998-2007), which must now be consigned to history. Rather, what we see is mixed signals from Pyongyang, and to some extent also from Seoul. Having got past initial hostilities, the two governments are now testing and sounding each other out. This is not happening in a vacuum, but in the context of two wider imponderables: whether Kim Jong-il will return to nuclear dialogue in any shape or form, plus the opaque and delicate process of installing his third son Kim Jong-eun as his anointed successor. A surprise currency redenomination in early December, rendering most North Koreans' savings worthless and reportedly provoking protests, is a reminder that the North's internal stability cannot be taken for granted – and a blow to those who still aver that the DPRK is at some level trying to change for the better.
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between Japan and the two Koreas were relatively uneventful in the final quarter of 2009. The new Hatoyama government quickly began to show more attention to its relations with its East Asian neighbors and hinted at a small change in priorities with respect to North Korea. South Korea and Japan said mostly all the right things, even while substantively it seemed fairly clear that they continued to have very different opinions about territorial and historical disputes. However, no real movement or dramatic changes came about during the quarter, setting the stage for 2010 – the 100th “anniversary” of Japan's annexation of Korea.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, Korea