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South Korea’s Northern policy in the post- Kim Jong-il era

Choi, Lyong (2011) South Korea’s Northern policy in the post- Kim Jong-il era. International Affairs at LSE (20 Dec 2011). Website.

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The volatile condition of Pyongyang after Kim Jong-il’s death is asking from Seoul the answer to the Korean puzzle. South Korea’s Lee Myongbak administration, its term beginning in 2008, faces a new challenge from the Kims. The Lee regime which has had hostile relations with Kim Jong-il and had a number of battles in the West Sea of Korea is silently observing the post- Kim Jong-il NK. The South Korean press reported that there were missile launches in the East Sea of North Korea, but the SK leadership did not make any official reaction toward this military action of Pyongyang. Seemingly, the SK elites are very careful with the demise of NK Premier and delay their strategic decision on the new regime of Pyongyang. Seoul did not dispatch any representative to Pyongyang but conveyed its condolences to the North and put the ROK armed forces on emergency stand-by. At this moment, regarding the SK response and limited information of new NK leadership, it is still very unclear whether the death of Kim Jong-il will open another détente period in the Korean Peninsula or will not make any change in the bitter relations between the two Koreas. Clearly, it is up to Pyongyang to keep or change its hostile policy toward Capitalist South. As usual, SK will need to react toward the new NK policy. However, such a passive strategy would not help the third Kim regime re-consider its relations with Seoul but also worsen the security of both Koreas. The Lee administration might worry about taint on its anti- North Korean policy if it helps the new Kim regime stabilize its basis in NK. But the most serious problem, now, is that the political instability in NK and possible power conflicts between/among potential heirs of Kim Jong-il could threaten South Korea’s security, too. ‘Korea’ is not a big land. The civil war or local warfare inside NK can extend to the South. That is, for its own safety, South Korea should make efforts to reduce the chaos in its brother nation.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author(s)
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2017 12:26
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 06:37

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