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This article is an examination of international relations theories as they apply to the Korean peninsula. Essentially, neorealism and neoliberalism compete to better explain current world politics while the constructivist approach criticizes both neorealism and neoliberalism. The dynamics of Korea’s international environment today clearly suggest that countries in the region behave according to neorealist expectations. Threrfore, a successful institutional model for building peace on the Korean peninsula would be neoliberal in form and neorealist in essence—in other words, the institutionalization of U.S.-led bilateral ties. In this process, a constructivist approach would facilitate increased interaction and allow the countries in the region to share community-based characteristics.