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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: June 2009

Chapter 5 - The United States and the Two Koreas


If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.

– W. I. Thomas

Our … goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens…. States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.

– George W. Bush, January 29, 2002

The modern imperialists are pursuing a more crafty policy of aggression and war, styling themselves a guardian of peace and freedom. Its good example is the slogan of anti-terrorism put up by the U.S. This nature of modern imperialism also finds a manifestation in the fact that it seeks to launch an undisguised armed invasion of those progressive and anti-imperialist independent countries.

– Korean Central News Agency, October 20, 2002

The U.S. Factor

Without a doubt, the United States remains the most dominant external actor on the Korean peninsula. Although U.S. primacy at almost any point on the globe is widely accepted, the description is particularly apt: history, geopolitics, and geoeconomics all drive U.S. interest in NEA, and Korea's location at the strategic crossroads of the region makes it a natural place for the United States to concentrate its concern.