The Korean peace process: Problems and prospects after the summit

Tae Hwan Kwak, Seung Ho Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although more than half a century has passed since the two Korean governments were established in 1948, the Korean peninsula is still divided between the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea). Inter-Korean relations are still characterized by mutual distrust, animosity, a lack of mutual cooperation, and conflicting ideologies. The cold war continues on the Korean peninsula. Our objectives in this article are (a) to examine the significance of the 15 June joint declaration, which laid a foundation for a new inter-Korean peace process after the summit; (b) to examine the two-track approach to peace regime building; and (c) to analyze key issues between the two Koreas in the peace process. We present three major arguments in this article. First, the Korean peace-building process is the necessary first step for achieving Korean reunification. The two-track approach-an inter-Korean track and an international track -to peace regime building is required to establish a durable peace in Korea. Second, the two Koreas should continue to remove key obstacles to their reconciliation, cooperation, and peace. Third, the two Koreas need to work together to find an alternative to South Korea's goal of an inter-Korean peace agreement and North Korea's goal of a North Korea-U.S. peace treaty so that they can establish an agreed framework for a durable peace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Affairs
Volume165
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

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