Our Other Korea Problem

The real threat to America's position in Korea doesn't emanate only from Pyongyang: How the "sunshine policy" could foreshadow the sunset of the U.S.-South Korean alliance.

Issue: Fall 2002

Over the past half-century, East Asia has been a virtual kaleidoscope of political and economic change, but one unchanging feature of the Asian tableau has been the security face-off in Korea. Despite the epochal evolutions in Northeast Asia over the intervening years, the security architecture in Korea today is remarkably similar to that put in place almost fifty years ago. Enormous and heavily equipped Korean armies still confront each other across an ironically named "demilitarized zone" (DMZ), and the United States still provides the essential element of deterrence in the Korean equation through its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea (ROK), that is, democratic South Korea.

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