Reagan Faces Korea

Alliance Politics and Quiet Diplomacy

  • Chae-Jin Lee

Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Chae-Jin Lee
    Pages 59-104
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 269-278

About this book


This is a unique and definitive study to reassess the complex dynamics of US-Korea diplomatic relations during the Reagan presidency. It examines the goals, methods, and legacy of Reagan’s policy toward Korea with emphasis on the realities of alliance politics and the tactics of quiet diplomacy. It questions a widely held view that Reagan showed simplistic, inattentive, and rigid approaches toward foreign affairs, arguing that his actual policy, as demonstrated in the Korea case, was more sophisticated, nuanced, and pragmatic than commonly assumed. Based on a vast amount of confidential diplomatic documents, especially in Korean, and interviews the author has conducted with US and Korean leaders, Lee sheds new light on Reagan's role in promoting democratization in South Korea as well as his engagement with North Korea.


Ronald Reagan quiet diplomacy Chun Doo Hwan South Korea Democratic struggle KAL007 Rangoon North Korea US-Korea relations presidential leadership foreign affairs diplomatic history Korean Peninsula foreign policy realism pragmatism moralism Nixon Carter Ferdinand Marcos

Authors and affiliations

  • Chae-Jin Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentClaremont McKenna CollegeClaremontUSA

Bibliographic information