Beyond the "Sunshine" and "Mutual Benefits and Common Prosperity" policies: GRIT as the viable alternative

Seung Ho Joo, Euikon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Both the Sunshine Policy of Kim Dae-jung and the Policy of Mutual Benefits and Common Prosperity of Lee Myung-bak were unsuccessful. The former failed to curb Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, and the latter failed to bring about stability and predictability to inter-Korean relations. This article begins with an examination of these two policies, followed by a critical assessment of them. The article then discusses Osgood's Graduated Reciprocation in Tension-reduction (GRIT) as the long-term strategy to dissipate military confrontation and distrust and to lay the foundation for peaceful coexistence and cooperation on the Korean peninsula. President Lee's current hard-line policy toward the North is too costly and dangerous. "Militarization" of the Republic of Korea's (ROK) North Korea policy may deter Pyongyang's further aggression; however, it may also lead to an accidental war that will inflict unacceptable damages and permanent scars on both Korean states. The ROK should begin GRIT toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as a long-term policy by taking unilateral initiatives and inviting reciprocation from the North, while safeguarding its own security and key interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-280
Number of pages26
JournalKorea Observer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • GRIT
  • Inter-Korean relations
  • Kim Dae-jung
  • Lee Myung-bak
  • Mutual Benefits and Common Prosperity policy
  • North Korea's nuclear crisis
  • Sunshine Policy


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