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Korea

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3356-5
232 pages
February 2008, Polity
Korea (0745633560) cover image
Korea is one of the critical flashpoints in the world today. News of North Korea's recent nuclear tests, conducted in defiance of international pressure, drew widespread condemnation and raised serious concerns about the threat now posed to regional and international security by the regime of North Korea's dear leader Kim Jong-Il.

This book penetrates the veil surrounding the conflict on the Korean peninsula and North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes. It provides a thorough historical analysis of relations between the two Koreas since the Korean War, which traces both North Korea's path to economic ruin and South Korea's transition from struggling dictatorship to vibrant democracy.

As well as examining the political and economic development of North and South Korea at the domestic level, the book goes on to explore regional relations with Russia, China and Japan and, most importantly, America's dealings with Korea and its negotiations with North Korea, in particular. It concludes with an analysis of North Korea's current nuclear programme and its likely impact on international security in the 21st century.

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Foreword (The Honorable Jin Park, Ph.D.) vi

Acknowledgements ix

Chronology xi

Map xxi

1 The Crisis on the Korean Peninsula 1

2 Korea: A Nation Divided 9

3 North Korea after the Korean War: The Long March to Ruin 22

4 South Korea after the Korean War: From Struggling Dictatorship to Vibrant Democracy 50

5 US–North Korean Relations and the First Nuclear Crisis 63

6 The 'Sunshine Policy': South Korean National Security Policy in a New Era 92

7 Renewed Confrontation and the Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis 110

8 The Military Confrontation on the Korean Peninsula 137

9 Understanding the Security Dilemma on the Korean Peninsula 169

References 193

Index 201

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Christoph Bluth is Professor of International Studies at the University of Leeds.
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  • New book on Korea in Polity’s successful Hot Spots series
  • penetrates the veil surrounding the conflict on the Korean peninsula and North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes
  • provides a thorough historical analysis of relations between the two Koreas since the Korean War
  • traces both North Korea's path to economic ruin and South Korea's transition from struggling dictatorship to vibrant democracy
  • explores regional relations with Russia, China and Japan and, most importantly, America's dealings with Korea and its negotiations with North Korea in particular
  • concludes with an analysis of North Korea's current nuclear programme and its likely impact on international security in the 21st century
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"Students in particular will welcome this timely book."
International Affairs

"Bluth offers a brilliant assessment of an enduring paradox. The Cold War turned Hot back in 1950 over Korea, and this was where the UN first tested its post-World War II doctrines, leaving no resolution between the two rival states, North Korea and South Korea. With no peace treaty, the Korean War never officially ended, and in 2006 when the North announced it was now a nuclear state we once again stared into an abyss known as the DMZ. Bluth's book is indispensable reading for those who want to understand why Korea should concern us all."
Keith Howard, SOAS, University of London

"This book is the most up-to-date historical account and thoughtful analysis of the on-going North Korean nuclear weapons program. It is an important addition to the existing literature in developing a deep understanding of the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula."
Woosang Kim, Yonsei University

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