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Chosen Hanto Kiki kara Taiwa he (The Korean Peninsula, From Crisis toward Dialogue - The Geopolitical Map of the Changing Northeast Asia)


Lee Jong Won, KIMIYA Tadashi (eds.)


166 pages, B6 format, softcover




October 12, 2018



Published by

Iwanami Shoten

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Chosen Hanto Kiki kara Taiwa he

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In 2017 the danger of a military clash between the Trump administration of the United States and the North Korean government of Kim Jong-un was growing, but in early 2018 talks began between North and South Korea regarding the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and following an inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom in April, inter-Korean relations gradually improved. Then at the inter-Korean summit held in Pyongyang in September it was in effect agreed to end the state of war between North and South Korea and make a declaration of non-aggression. These improvements in inter-Korean relations evolved in such a way that they also drew in the Trump administration, leading to the first United States–North Korea summit, held in Singapore in June. In 2019 the United States–North Korea summit held in Hanoi in February was cut short with no agreement having been reached, and although Trump and Kim Jong-un met for a third time in June at Panmunjom, there was no progress at a practical level in North Korea’s denuclearization. In August the United States and South Korea held joint military exercises, and North Korea responded by launching several short-range ballistic missiles.
In this fashion, the situation on the Korean peninsula has been going through some turbulent times, with intensifying tensions in 2017, an easing of tension and reconciliation in 2018, and uncertainty in 2019. This book examines the international political dynamics that have brought about this turbulence, discussing the motives and intentions of the countries involved, namely, South Korea, North Korea, the United States, and China. With regard to South Korea, a sketch of the foreign policy of the Moon Jae-in administration is presented by Moon Chung-in, the key diplomatic brains in the Moon Jae-in administration. Moon Chung-in is a university professor who has been active as the diplomatic brains of South Korea’s liberal governments since the time of the Kim Dae-jung administration, and on the basis of a realistic understanding of the international relations in which South Korea finds itself, he explains in rational terms why a policy of reconciliation and cooperation with North Korea is necessary for South Korea. Hirai Hisashi, a leading Japanese North Korea watcher, explains in rational terms from the perspective of “régime security” why Kim Jong-un has changed course from a strategic line of simultaneously pushing forward economic development and building a nuclear force to denuclearization. Ogata Toshihiko, a newspaper journalist well versed in matters related to the United States, explains with reference to the Trump administration’s internal dynamics and international political dynamics why the Trump administration has changed course to pursue dialogue with North Korea. Zhu Jianrong, a reputable observer of Chinese politics, discusses the position of China, which acts the North Korea’s guardian , and shows that it not only supports denuclearization but also has its sights on the future.
How, then, has Japan responded? And how will it respond? On the one hand, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has proposed a Japan–North Korea summit without any conditions attached and has indicated a desire for Japan, too, to become involved without being left behind. But on the other hand he is taking a cautious approach to moves by the United States and the two Koreas regarding North Korea’s denuclearization. He is also pessimistic about the feasibility of North Korea’s denuclearization and is trying to rein in South Korea and the United States, which are lurching in that direction. Against the background of these difficulties, the current state of Japan–South Korea relations is marked by deepening conflict regarding questions of forced labour and export restrictions. Kimiya Tadashi clarifies the perceptions on which the Abe administration’s diplomacy towards the Korean peninsula is based and how an alternative foreign policy might be presented.

(Written by KIMIYA Tadashi, Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences / 2019)

Related Info

Interview on Youtube:
KIMIYA Tadashi (Jan 31, 2019)

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