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.
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