International Relations of East Asia (Inter-Korean Relations (July 1972:…
International Relations of East Asia
NK threat remains; Refrained from a second invasion but undertakes crisis-inducing acts of violence in order to leverage the crisis to its own advantage; nothing to lose and nothing to negotiate with; unless NK returns to the status quo, prior to 2002, the US and allies are forced to pursue isolation and containment; only supports highly conditional engagement
Argues that for hardliners, NK's withdrawal from the NPT and the 2nd Nuclear Crisis was a violation of several agreements such as the 1992 Korean Denuclearisation Declaration revealed the 'evil intentions' of Kim Jong Il and his regime so the only policy worth pursuing is isolation and containment, abandoning the sunshine policy of unconditional engagement (Kim Dae Jung). Others believed that NK's violation of such agreements reveals how it feared the US and the hardline stance of Bush (NK one of the countries mentioned in the axis of evil speech)
NK threat has been inflated and it has been rationally deterred from aggression for 50+ years; No reason to believe it would change its mind today; argues engagement works with NK; regards the 2002 Nuclear crisis as a disappointing setback.
1970s: China and US relations improve; Nixon doctrine helped to make Pak more open to contact with NK (who wanted contact as wanted to make Korea completely communist)
July 1972: Joint statement of North and South
Guiding ptrinciples of reunification: independence from external factors / peace as the means for unification / national unity, beyond ideologies and ideas
first talk of co-existene without the use of force
1979: democratisation of SK and 1991 collapse of USSR leaves NK increasingly isolated and begins plans for nuclearisation (had previously built the Yongbyon nuclear facilities in the 1960s)
First Nuclear Crisis 1993-4:
End of CW leaves NK isolated, has already been producing plutonium since 1986/7 - now no longer have the USSR as nuclear support
1992: NK becomes official member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty; later found out they produced Plutonium which breaks the NPT but argues it shouldn't be treated differently to other members by having special inspections and threatens to leave the NPT. Clinton tries to have dialogue with NPT. NK agree to halt plans to withdraw from the NPT.
Resolved with the
1994 Agreed Framework
with the help of unofficial visit of Jimmy Carter to Pyongyang. This included replacing NK nuclear plant with light water reactor; 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil per year given to NK by USA; formal assurance to NK that force/threat wouldn't be used; NK remain in NPT. However this failed as the light water reactor had not even began construction by 2003 (which is when it was meant to be complete). Kim Il-Sung had died and his son didn't want to carry on his legacy; Bush replaced Clinton
Second Nuclear Crisis 2002-03
Bush Axis of evil speech worsens tensions; CIA suspects that NK is working with Uranium due to visit by Abdul Qadeer-Khan
Bush Administration wants Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearisation and NK respond by reopening the Yongbyon facilities and withdrawing from NPT in Jan 2003; claimed it was acting in self-defense
Set up the 6PT in 2003 as a result but little progress made in them until 2005 with the
2005 Joint Statement of Principles
: NK would rejoin NPT, abandon nuclear program, allow IAEA inspectors in exchange for economic assistance, normalising the relationship with the US and steps toward a peace treaty. However this agreement fell through after the US froze NK's offshore Macao account - as a result tensions escalated as Nk continued to have nuclear tests. End of 6PT in 2009.
2007 Agreement: implementation of 2005 Joint statement and NK closes Yongbon (reopened again in 2013 but with minimal activity)
One of the reasons the 6PTs failed was because of the Japanese abduction issue: Japan focused on this instead of de-nuclearisation
NK Threat Perception and Provocation
NK priorities the political survival of the family over the state
NK's unconventional interpretation of threat comes from the Juche ideology
Kim Il-Sung convinced NKs that they would be liberating SK from the oppression of Japan and USA (US later became main enemy as seen as colonising SK in a sense and also the country who invaded the North)
Kim Il-Sung: Juche (1965): Self-reliance; military independence; unsuccessful as never been fully indepedent
Son-gun Congch'i: introduced by Kim Jong-Il: needs ways to acquire legitimisation; military system as centre of power and political legitimacy
Byungjin: Kim Jong-Un -shift towards grandfathers strategy of relying more on the party and also a greater focus on nuclear program (no longer getting legitimisation from the military like they were before)
Positive Engagement: Solving confrontation and conflict with trust and dialogue; rewards not punishment
Conditional: something in return
Unconditional: aid (sunshine policy)
Can create dependence in cases of asymetrical economic power
Complex interdependence is a form of positive engagement; AKA Liberalism (win-win scenario); international/bilateral organisations
Realism/Neorealism: States primary actors; focus on military intervention; strong economy allows for better military; zero-sum game
Roh Tae-Woo (88-93)
Nordpolitik: Pursue good neighbouring relations with USSR and China
Basic South-North Agreement 1992:
non aggression; reconciliation; exchanges and cooperations; conditional engagement (wanted a denuclearised peninsula as SK officially gave up its nuclear weapons in 1991); mutual commitment to transform the armistice into a peace treaty
Kim Young-Sam (93-98)
Inconsistent policies between hardline and conciliatory policies depending on the actions of NK
Offended that the US began interfering in the NK situation without consulting SK
His inconsistency jeopardised the political capital gained during Nordpolitik
Progressive Presidents in the US have aligned with more hardline SK Presidents - both countries rarely in sync
Kim Dae-Jung (98-03)
Won by a narrow margin when Korea went bankrupt; Many Koreans went against him; Unconditional engagement
Sunshine Policy: zero tolerance of military provocation; no pursuit of absorption; active search for reconciliation and cooperation based on the basic agreement; No Strings Attached humanitarian aid (criticised as couldn't guarantee what NK would use the aid - NK defector criticised the policy as it unconditional engagement was not actually helping) But, this did create a more positive relationship between NK and SK allowing for 2000 joint declaration
Flexible dualism: separation between politics and economics; if NK attacked, SK would retaliate but would continue economic operations
SK Red Cross could intervene in NK if they wanted aid.
1998 Mount Kumgang-san touristic project was a breakthrough in economic cooperation and allowed SK's to visit this NK Mountain (however this was stopped in 2008 when a SK tourist was shot and killed on the beach by NK soldiers and NK refused to apologise and blamed the victim.
When Bush became President in 2001 he disagreed strongly with the Sunshine Policy (especially after 9/11)
In 1999, the new approach of Kim Dae-Jung convinced NK to renounce a missile test.
Inter-Korean Summit 2000: Kim Dae-Jung visits Pyongyang by plane and a
2000 Joint declaration
: independence from external factors ; recognising similarities; resolution of humanitarian issue; strengthening trade and exchanges. More effective to engage with NK first before criticising their Human rigths
Roh Moo-hyun (03-08)
Revival of Sunshine policy
Policy for peace and prosperity: regular talks; expand cooperation and exchanges; replace 1953 armistice with real peace treaty; considered successful as led to win-win strategy such as Kaesong IC
Kaesong Industrial Complex: Allowed South Koreans to be employed here
2006: SK second trading partner of NK after China.
2007: Ro Moo-Hyun meets Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang
Lee Myung-Bak (08-13)
Restructure and refocus of the US-SK relationship after it had drifted under Bush.
Would not respect or implement previous government agreements in particular the 2000 and 2007 Joint statements
Increased tensions leads to more NK provocations: SK Cheonan ship sinks; bombing of Yeongpyeong (SK island); SK wants official apology for both of these.