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South Korea’s Response: Democracy, Identity, and Strategy

  • Uk Heo
  • Jung-Yeop Woo

Abstract

The Korean Peninsula is one of the few regions in the world that still live with Cold War-style military confrontation. North Korea adopted the “military first” policy and concentrated its resources on the military. In addition, they have developed nuclear and missile programs, which have been a primary source of security volatility in the region. In response, South Korea has maintained high levels of defense spending. U.S. troops have remained in South Korea since the Korean War, although the number of troops has declined.1

Keywords

National Identity Summit Meeting North Korean Regime North Korean Nuclear Issue North Korean Leader 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Uk Heo, “The Political Economy of Defense Spending in South Korea,” Journal of Peace Research 33 (1996): 483–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Its per capita GNP grew from only $100 in 1963 to $14,000 in 2004. Currently, the South Korean economy is the eleventh largest in the world. See also John Kie-chiang Oh, Korean Politics: The Quest for Democratization and Economic Development (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999);Google Scholar
  3. Uk Heo and Alexander C. Tan, “Political Choices and Economic Outcomes: A Perspective on the Differential Impact of the Financial Crisis on South Korea and Taiwan,” Comparative Political Studies 36 (2003): 679–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yung Myung Kim, “Pattern of Military Rule and Prospects for Democracy in South Korea,” in RJ. May and Viberto Selochan, eds., The Military and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific (Australia: Hurst & Co, 1998); Oh, Korean Politics. Google Scholar
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    Heather Smith, “Korea,” in Ross H. McLeod and Ross Garnaut, eds., East Asia in Crisis: From Being a Miracle to Needing One? (London: Routledge, 1999);Google Scholar
  6. Uk Heo and Sunwoong Kim, “Financial Crisis in South Korea: Failure of the Government-Led Development Paradigm,” Asian Survey 40 (2000): 492–507;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Byong-man Ahn, Elites and Political Power in South Korea (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Each administration’s security policy is well described in Uk Heo and Chong-Min Hyun, “The ‘Sunshine Policy’ Revisited: An Analysis of South Korea’s Policy toward North Korea,” in Uk Heo and Shale Horowitz, eds., Conflict in Asia: Korea, China-Taiwan, and India-Pakistan (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2003).Google Scholar
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    Victor Cha, “Korea Unification: The Zero-Sum Past and Precarious Future,” in Ilpyong J. Kim, ed., Two Koreas in Transition: Implications for U.S. Policy (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 1998).Google Scholar
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    Norman D. Levin and Yong-Sup Han, Sunshine in Korea: The South Korean Debate over Policies toward North Korea (Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2002).Google Scholar
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    Martin Hart-Landsberg, Korea: Division, Reunification and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    For a detailed description of the North Korean nuclear crisis, see Terence Roehrig, “Assessing North Korean Behavior: The June Summit, The Bush Administration, and Beyond,” in Uk Heo and Shale Horowitz, eds., Conflict in Asia: Korea, China-Taiwan, and India-Pakistan (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2003).Google Scholar
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    Bon-Hak Koo, “Challenges and Prospects for Inter-Korean Relations under the New Leadership,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 10 (1998): 79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Quinones argued that public opinion regarding Kim Dae Jung’s formula for dealing with the North was “certainly ambivalent at best.” C. Kenneth Quinones, “South Korea’s Approaches to North Korea: A Glacial Process,” in Kyung-Ae Park and Dalchoong Kim, eds., Korean Security Dynamics in Transition (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 43.Google Scholar
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    Chung-in Moon, “Understanding the DJ Doctrine: The Sunshine Policy and the Korean Peninsula,” in Chung-in Moon and David I. Steinberg, eds., Kim Dae-jung Government and Sunshine Policy: Promises and Challenges (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  17. 22.
    According to Kihl, there are two reasons for separating nonpolitical activities from politics. First, Seoul wants to assure the United States and Japan that they could change their policies toward North Korea, on the grounds that normalization between these countries will enhance the engagement of North Korea with the rest of the world. Second, due to limited resources, the South Korean government cannot provide “enough” economic aid to North Korea; so the government wants the private sector to contribute to the efforts. Moreover, Kim Dae Jung witnessed the failure of direct aid to the North by the Kim Young Sam administration. He knew how it backfired domestically when the direct government aid turned out to be ineffective. Young Whan Kihl, “Seoul’s Engagement Policy and U.S.-DPRK Relations,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 10 (1998): 21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 26.
    Rodney Bruce Hall. National Collective Identity: Social Constructs and International System (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shale Horowitz, Uk Heo, Alexander C. Tan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uk Heo
  • Jung-Yeop Woo

There are no affiliations available

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