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  • Author: Taehee Whang, Michael Lammbrau, Hyung-min Joo
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: For the past two decades, North Korea has made a series of military provocations, destabilizing the regional security of East Asia. In particular, Pyongyang has launched several conventional attacks on South Korea. Although these attacks seem unpredictable and random, we attempt in this article to find some patterns in North Korean provocations. To this end, we employ a machine-learning technique to analyze news articles of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) from 1997 to 2013. Based on five key words (‘years,’ ‘signed,’ ‘assembly,’ ‘June,’ and ‘Japanese’), our model identifies North Korean provocations with 82% accuracy. Further investigation into these attack words and the contexts in which they appear produces significant insights into the ways in which we can detect North Korean provocations.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Seung Hyok Lee
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: When Kim Dae-jung and Koizumi Junichiro visited Pyongyang in 2000 and 2002, their visits facilitated a perception shift toward North Korea in South Korea and Japan. This was a consequence of the two democratic societies expanding and redefining the acceptable boundaries of their national security identities and principles in a changing regional environment. Although the expansion of societal security discourse did not lead extreme ‘revisionists’ to implement drastic strategic policy transformations in either country, it did provoke a ‘mutual security anxiety’ between the South Korean and Japanese publics, as they felt increasingly uncertain about each other's future security trajectory. This mutual anxiety, in which both countries tend to view each other as potential security risk, while overlooking the existence of moderate democratic citizens on the other side, continues to provide a powerful ideational undertone to the bilateral relationship, which contributes to persistent misunderstanding at various levels.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Tongfi Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article explains cooperation problems between powerful democratic states and weak non-democratic states in the context of nuclear non- proliferation. Focusing on the interactions of the United States with North Korea, Iran, and Libya, it suggests that power asymmetry and information asymmetry foster mutual distrust by exacerbating two main strategic obstacles to cooperation: the time inconsistency of the stronger state's policy and the incomplete information regarding the non-democratic states. The nature of negotiations over nuclear weapons programs further exacerbates these problems. The overall implications of this article leave us pessimistic about the possibility of negotiated nuclear dis-armament, but the theoretical analysis may help the negotiation strategy of the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Timothy Rich
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: What explains patterns in North Korea's own coverage of nuclear issues? The conventional wisdom assumes that North Korea focuses its attention on the United States and that changes in the administrations in the United States and South Korea influence such rhetoric, yet this remains largely untested. Content analysis using daily English news reports from the Korean Central News Agency from 1997 through 2012 provides an explicit base for how the regime attempts to frame nuclear issues for a foreign audience. References to the United States positively correlate with nuclear reference while findings regarding US and South Korean administrations conflict with the conventional wisdom. References to the Kims also negatively correlate with nuclear references with variation after Kim Jong Il's death. More broadly this analysis suggests the possible leverage of analyzing North Korea's own materials.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Taekyoon Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This study sets out to analyze strategic relations of two major donors – the United States and China – in delivering food aid to North Korea in the 1990s. By reviewing the historical evolution of US–China strategic relations in line with food aid and adopting a game model to verify historical findings, it addresses two significant observations. First, the North Korean food aid dynamics were constructed and crystallized by donors' strategic interactions, rather than humanitarian intention to save the famine-stricken North Korea. Both donors first took into account strategic interests in aid dynamics, and then utilized food aid as a strategic instrument for their own purposes. Second, any multilateral cooperation for delivering food aid to North Korea dooms to failure, despite the potential of aid coordination among donor states. Donors' competition for the primacy in the region of Northeast Asia hampered policy coordination for institutionalizing aid networks. It is concluded that the two donors were bound to strategize food aid as a logical outgrowth of their own interests in the wake of North Korea's humanitarian disasters.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, North Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Sung-Han Kim, Geun Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This study delves into an empirical case analysis of the desecuritization process of the North Korean threat under the Kim Dae-jung government. Unlike previous studies, it analyzes how domestic and international actors desecuritized traditional threats by taking the pluralistic political processes of a democratic polity seriously. This was the process of competition between different political coalitions and the process of transformation from issues of high politics into issues of low politics. It remains to be seen whether the Kim Dae-jung government's desecuritization of North Korean threats was a deep or a shallow one, but it appears to be clear that the desecuritization of North Korean threats by the Kim Dae-jung government paved the way for another 5 years of progressive government with Roh Moo-hyun's 'unexpected' victory in the 2002 presidential election.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Sang-Young Rhyu
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The alliance with the United States has not only provided South Korea with a credible military deterrence against North Korea, but also helped normalize its economy through extensive military and economic assistance and assertive policy intervention for macroeconomic stabilization and export drive. South Korea was also one of major beneficiaries of the American-built liberal international economic order. No matter how strong the alliance tie would be, however, major external economic crises or subsequent critical junctures (e.g. the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the global financial crisis of 2008) tempted South Korea to seek an alternative arrangement by attempting to depart from the USled economic and financial architecture. Nevertheless, such moves were fundamentally constrained because of the preference of continuing stability in international economic and financial institutions and its renewed emphasis on the alliance in face of North Korea's nuclear threats. South Korea is likely to adhere to the American-led currency regime for the time being.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Many debates about engagement with North Korea hinge on the precise nature of North Korea's foreign economic relations: whether trade and investment are on commercial or non-commercial terms; the extent of illicit activities, and the changing geographic patterns of North Korea's trade. This article provides an effort to reconstruct North Korea's foreign economic relations, subordinating our estimates to the discipline of the balance of payments accounting framework. Among the most salient findings for the debate about engagement and sanctions is that North Korea's trade and investment have continued to increase despite the onset of the nuclear crisis and a decline in illicit activities. This growth has occurred in part because of the growing weight of China and South Korea in trade, aid, and investment. We also find that economic relations between North and South Korea have a substantially greater non-commercial component than those occurring across the China–North Korea border.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea