Security on the Korean Peninsula: Continuity and Change

Journal article

Kihl, Young Whan (2002) Security on the Korean Peninsula: Continuity and Change, Security Dialogue 33 (1).

Continuity and change characterize security on the Korean peninsula, while the USA’s ongoing anti-terrorism campaign raises concern in relation to North Korea. This article examines the Korean peninsula from global, regional, and local perspectives, ascertaining security dynamics and trends. It contrasts recent efforts to restore the northern continental triangle (North Korea, China, and Russia) with the continued stability of the southern maritime triangle (South Korea, Japan, and the United States). The impact of the stalemated inter-Korean dialogues upon the security of the Korean peninsula and each of the major powers is also considered. The possible resumption and agenda of the dialogue between the United States and North Korea are under dispute. North Korea acted to let the Clinton administration know that it was willing to trade its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities for economic resources, if the price was right. Whether North Korea will indeed bargain away its military trump cards for economic payoff remains to be seen. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is a master of control rather than a beleaguered beggar, as he is sometimes portrayed in the international media.

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