This paper examines international causes of South Korean dramatic political changes and the accompanying shift in national policy priorities during the early 1960s. Based on declassified U.S. government documents and other primary materials, this paper aims to narrate the interactions between Korean domestic politics and U.S. policy. By doing so, this paper demonstrates that U.S. policy functioned as a structural cause for the change of South Korea’s national policy priorities from unification to economic development.
This paper aims to explain South Korea’s decision to open dialogue with North Korea in the détente period. President Park Chung-hee, who came to power in a military coup, did not pay much attention to unification matters in his early rule, but starting from the late 1960s, Park gradually began to change his North Korea policy due to a combination of external and internal conditions. I intend to explain the causes of Seoul’s new approach toward Pyongyang through three variables: Threat perception, regime characteristics, and the distribution of power. A combination of these factors forced the Park regime to change its North Korea policy from confrontation to cooperation. However, inter-Korean cooperation proved to be short-lived. The early demise of rapprochement can be explained by the absence of compelling forces that could have driven the deepening of cooperation between the two parties.
This article reviews inter-Korean relations in the period from 1980 to 1997 during which Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo, and Kim Young-sam led their respective governments. Détente became more prevalent around the division system on the Korean peninsula with various actors’ choices intersecting with one another. At the peninsular level, the South and the North agreed on a new set of definitions for mutual recognition—albeit with limitations—in the 1991 South-North Basic Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation, which created the so-called the S-N Basic Agreement “regime.” However, the regime broke down soon after, making the Korean peninsula problem an international issue. In 1994, the United States and DPRK made a breakthrough in the Geneva Agreed Framework, despite which the division system developed minor fissures but remained intact. This failure shows that, despite changes in the international system surrounding the Korean peninsula, the division system will be extremely difficult to overcome unless each actor realizes a change of the mindset that is supplemented by a strong resolve to act on it.
This paper intends to reveal the truth of the alleged North Korean HEUP (highly enriched uranium program) that spawned the current nuclear crisis, and has greatly affected the contemporary history of the Korean peninsula. The paper finds that what North Korea had in October 2002 was not an HEUP, and posed no serious and imminent threat to the security of the United States, thereby providing no rationale to scrap the Agreed Framework. The paper suggests that North Korea should be condemned for its stalling behavior during October 2002, but argues that if the Bush administration had been more willing to make efforts to remove whatever equipment the North had, the second nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula would not have occurred, and North Korean nuclear capabilities would not have increased as they have. Most importantly, this paper maintains, the Bold Approach, the Bush administration’s version of the Perry Process, might have succeeded, thereby, bringing about a solution to the “peninsula problem” for the Koreas and the rest of the world.
The purpose of this paper is to make sense of Yi Gyu-bo’s (1168-1241) seemingly religious and apolitical text, “Munjomul” (Questions to the Creator), as a political text, and to suggest its vision as a possible prelude to the Goryeo (918-1392)–Joseon (1392-1910) transition. If Neo-Confucianism articulates a political vision for the Joseon dynasty, one can construe that political vision as an answer to the previous dynasty’s long-lasting questions about the relation of the self and politics as the dominant political thought loses ground. To the extent that “Munjomul” shows the weakening state of the ideological foundation of Goryeo, it can be interpreted as the embodiment of the problem, the answer to which was statecraft thought and Neo-Confucianism in early Joseon. This paper sees that Yi Gyu-bo disconnected the link between politics and the power of the God, and foregrounded the issues of the self while Neo- Confucianism forged the link between the self and politics.
Science is assumed to be located in the realm of objectivity. The Hwang Woo- Suk affair, however, showed that it could also be located within the realm of social pathology. The essence of Hwang syndrome was a hypnotic condition collaboratively created by patriotic fever, science, and the media. For scientific research, the attraction and risk incurred by public passion were too tempting to avoid. The media amplified the process of collective myth making by reporting scientific accomplishments truthfully at first, and then moving on to creating and delivering stories of heroic science and scientists. It was a kind of patriotism that was close to collective narcissism, which drove a majority of Korean population to blind faith in the fabricated scientific feats of Hwang. A survey analyzing the underlying mechanism of this mental chaos shows that before the Hwang affair broke out, people’s patriotic fervor, science, and the media formed a robust positive triangular equilibrium. In the process of the Hwang affair, the public sentiment of giving priority to national interest over scientific ethics or trustworthiness of the press won widespread sympathy.
This paper aims to examine the spread of Manchurian plague and the response of the Japanese colonial government. Previous studies of this issue stressed the successful, albeit forced, preventative measures taken by the Japanese colonial government. However, this paper argues that Western powers did not agree with the new theory that pneumonic plague was transmitted through respiratory infections, as discovered by Wu Liande and promoted by Kitasato Shibasaburo. They continued to believe the old Japanese theory that the plague was transmitted through fleas from rodents. The Japanese colonial government focused on reducing the rat population to prevent the spread of plague. Moreover, they had no quarantine hospitals or other equipment, and epidemic prevention programs and measures were inadequate. The success of their efforts was due less to the measures taken by the Japanese colonial government than from the low influx of Chinese laborers into Korea.