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Balance, Parallelism, and Asymmetry: United States-Korea Relations 1

  • Victor D. Cha (a1)

Extract

The George W. Bush presidency has raised wide speculation about future United States' policy toward the Korean peninsula. The conventional wisdom among pundits in Washington, Seoul and elsewhere is that the incoming administration will switch to a ‘harder line’ regarding the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) and move away from the engagement policy practiced during the Clinton administration. In a similar vein, others have argued that Bush will place a premium on reaffirming and consolidating ties with traditional allies and friends like the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, and Taiwan while downplaying strategic engagement with China. The problem with such punditry is that it is usually overstated and under analyzed. Given the current state of relations, there is little incentive for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward North Korea or with regard to the U.S.-ROK alliance. Moreover, given what is known of the Bush administration's foreign policy vision, there is little evidence upon which to predict an unadulterated hard line swing in policy toward Pyongyang.

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Balance, Parallelism, and Asymmetry: United States-Korea Relations 1

  • Victor D. Cha (a1)

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