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Regional Peace Building: The Korean Peninsula and North-east Asia

10 June 2010, Centre for Asian Pacific Studies, Lingnan University

Changes and Issues in Inter-Korean Relation: Asymmetry, Cooperation and Tension
Myoung Park
Professor and Director of IPUS, Seoul National University

This paper aims at analyzing contemporary changes and issues in inter-Korean relation by focusing on three aspects; structural asymmetry, reciprocal cooperation, and political tension between the South and North. Asymmetry in regime capacity including economic power, strategic option, human resources between two is continuously increasing since the end of Cold War era. On the other hand, reciprocal relation has developed during last decade in the name of ‘national reconciliation and cooperation.’ Political tensions are also inevitable because inter-Korean affairs have to be related with domestic politics of each side. Since the inauguration of the Lee Myungbak government, political conflict is increasing and asymmetrical differences are deepened while the reciprocal cooperation has been decreased. President Lee’s new policy toward Pyungyang’s nuclear politics and worsening public opinion on the issue need to be mentioned to explain today’s issues.

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