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By Roland Bleiker

In 2002, North Korea caused a huge overseas concern whilst it published the lifestyles of a mystery nuclear guns software and introduced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. prior within the yr, George W. Bush had declared North Korea a part of the “axis of evil,” and shortly later on his management indexed the rustic as a possible goal of a preemptive nuclear strike. Pyongyang’s offended response ensured the total deterioration of kinfolk at the Korean peninsula, the place merely years earlier than the leaders of North and South Korea had come jointly in a ancient summit assembly.   Few foreign conflicts are as risky, protracted, or likely insoluble because the one in Korea, the place mutual distrust, adverse chilly struggle attitudes, and the potential of a North Korean monetary cave in threaten the safety of the total sector. For Roland Bleiker, this over and over ordinary development indicates profound structural difficulties inside and among the 2 Koreas that experience now not been said formerly. increasing the dialogue past geopolitics and beliefs, Bleiker locations peninsular tensions within the context of an ongoing fight over competing different types of Korean identification. Divided Korea examines either household and foreign attitudes towards Korean id, the legacy of struggle, and the chances for-and anxieties about-unification.   Divided Korea demanding situations the present good judgment of disagreement and deterrence, embarking on a basic reassessment of either the roots of the clash and the capacity to accomplish a extra reliable political atmosphere and, eventually, peace. so that it will notice an enduring answer, Bleiker concludes, the 2 Koreas and the overseas group needs to first express a willingness to just accept distinction and think of forgiveness as a part of a broader reconciliation strategy. Roland Bleiker is professor of diplomacy on the collage of Queensland. From 1986 to 1988 he served as leader of place of work for the Swiss delegation to the impartial international locations Supervisory fee in Panmunjom.

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Extra info for Divided Korea: Toward a Culture of Reconciliation (Borderlines series)

Sample text

Dangerous weapons exist on both sides of the divided Korean peninsula. They are used to project and underline political threats. Thus one must never forget that an escalation is possible at any moment and could cause an immense human tragedy. This is why political transformations must be grounded in what is realistically possible, given the prevailing security dilemmas. But the very existence of serious escalatory dangers is also the main reason why one must seek to transcend them. Doing so is the major purpose of the second part of this book.

Response to the stationing of Moscow’s missiles in Cuba, which precipitated a highly precarious military standoff that almost ended in nuclear war. 27 A crisis is an inherently political event, with rather arbitrary beginnings and ends that mark shifts in political perception. Consider the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula. According to press reports and policy statements in the Western world, it “broke out” sometime in late 2002, when North Korea started to make public its intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

A focus on identity can, by contrast, open up new and highly informative perspectives on the Korean dilemmas. Here too my study is not comprehensive, in part because many of the dynamics are intrinsically linked to their unique political and cultural environment. Rather, I will draw on this comparison when it can help illuminate problems or potentials that otherwise may remain unnoticed. It is highly revealing, for instance, that identity constructs that developed in divided Germany continue to pose significant problems more than a decade after unification.

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