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THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF ASIAN RESEARCH NBR ANALYSIS VOLUME 14, NUMBER 1, June 2003 Perspectives on the Future of the Korean Peninsula Defensive Realism and Japan’sApproach towardKoreanReunification Victor D. Cha Russia’s Role on the Korean Peninsula and Great Power Relations in NortheastAsia Joseph P. Ferguson Sino-Korean Relations and the Future of the U.S.-ROK Alliance Scott Snyder 33 5 51 [This page intentionally left blank.] Foreword Timely in view of North Korea’s recent efforts to force a nuclear crisis in the region, this issue of the NBR Analysis examines the views of the surrounding powers toward the Korean Peninsula—those of China, Japan, and Russia—and raises critical questions about the future of NortheastAsia. North Korean leaders’insistence on direct bilateral negotiations with the United States fell on deaf ears in the White House, which would accept no less than direct Chinese participation. The reasons for Washington’s tough stand, to which the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) eventually bowed, were straightforward. More than any other nation outside the peninsula, China has strategic interests in the North and influence with Pyongyang. In the ultimate view of the BushAdministration, China must share the frustrations negotiators experience with that country’s untrustworthy leaders, share responsibility for supporting whatever peace can be fashioned with North Korea, and share in implementing any policies that may be required to stop the North from developing or trading dangerous weapons , technologies, and materials. Other NortheastAsian nations have security interests on the peninsula too, and their direct or indirect participation in any talks is consequential. Japanese nuclear restraint is being tested, and Japanese destroyers may be needed to help enforce any trade bans related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), should such policies become necessary. Russia would like to be involved, may serve as a broker, and—should it recover economically—might serve as a balancer down the road to offset other powers located in the region. It is important, therefore, to understand how leaders in Beijing, Tokyo, and Moscow assess developments in Korea.Also important for the purposes of U.S. policymakers is understandingtheattitudeofthesethreenationstowardtheU .S.militarypresenceinSouthKorea. In the first essay, Victor Cha, D.S. Song-Korea Foundation chair in Asian Studies at Georgetown University, argues that despite the role of Japan as one of the most critical variables in the U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea (ROK), views of Japan’s strategic preferences regarding Korea and the U.S.–Korea alliance differ widely. Many Western scholars focus on Japanese postwar pacifism, predicting little substantive change in Japan’s strategic thinking, or in Japan’s continued reliance on the United States security umbrella. 3 Asian scholars, on the other hand, tend to argue that despite Japanese postwar pacifism, rearmamentandindependenceinJapan’sfuturesecuritypostureisinevitable,andcouldmean a more competitive relationship with Korea and problems for the U.S.–Korea alliance. The authorargues,however,thatbothoftheseviewsareunsatisfactoryandthatatrueunderstandingofgrandstrategymustlookforthedefensivecontinuitiesintheJapaneseattitudestoward thepeninsulaandnotjusttheoffensiveones. In the second essay, Joseph Ferguson, director of NortheastAsia Studies at NBR, examines the foreign policy initiatives of Russian PresidentVladimir Putin in NortheastAsia. He suggests that Moscow is attempting to play a more active role on the Korean Peninsula in order to increase Russia’s diplomatic profile in the region. Mr. Ferguson believes that the U.S. military presence in Japan and Korea should be able to count on the support of Russia more frequently, and that if Russia can translate economic resurgence into a regional economic presence, Moscow may serve as a balancer against an assertive or powerful Chinese presence in the region. In the final essay, Scott Snyder, Seoul representative for theAsia Foundation, examines South Korea’s growing ties with China and the potential implications of this for the U.S.-ROK alliance. China’s increasing economic dominance in the region may bring enhanced political cloutthatwillhavelong-termimplicationsforSouthKorea’ssecurity.Giventhisnewdynamic, it is important for policymakers in both Washington and Seoul to be aware of the ways in which the burgeoning Sino-ROK economic relationship might inhibit South Korean political and security cooperation with the United States. In a post-North Korean threat environment, South Korea may “tilt” even more toward China, perhaps even at the expense of its traditional alliance relations with the United States. NBR would like to thank the Department of Defense, United States Pacific Command, and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for their generous support of these essays. The authors are solely responsible for the content and recommendations. RichardJ.Ellings President The National Bureau ofAsian Research 4 Defensive Realism and Japan’s Approach toward Korean...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781939131201
MARC Record
OCLC
868219489
Pages
307
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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