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I review the principle of reciprocity in South Korean security policy with regard to North Korea and the United States and analyze how the principle fits with US security policy concerning South Korea. Diffuse reciprocity shaped Korean security policy starting with President Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy. The Lee Myung-bak government’s hard-line approach increased military tension and economic anxiety on the peninsula. The new South Korean government under Park Geun-hye should devise achievable policy measures rather than place excessive pressure or unrealistic demands on North Korea.