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Sunshine Policy & U.S. - ROK Relation

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Presentation on theme: "Sunshine Policy & U.S. - ROK Relation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sunshine Policy & U.S. - ROK Relation

2 Korean Peninsula

3 Changing Alliance NOW PAST Alliance in transition
Frictions deep, frequent, and open Not even pretends to hide or downplay differences Going through drastic and profound changes PAST Hailed as a model alliance Stable and predictable Periodic frictions over human rights, democracy, and trade issues. Differences infrequent, hidden, and manageable

4 Why the Changes? 1. Incompatible Policies toward N. Korea
2. New political leaders 3. Diverging goals and interests 4. Widening gap in perception and attitudes

5 N. Korea Policy Kim Dae-Jung (1998-2002): The Sunshine Policy
Kim adopted the “Sunshine Policy” [From the Aesop's fable "The North Wind and the Sun“] To improve inter-Korean relations by promoting reconciliation, cooperation and peace. Assumed that, at the present stage, it is more important to establish a peaceful coexistence between the two Koreas than immediate unification.

6 Sunshine policy Three principles Two goals
No armed provocation by North Korea will be tolerated A takeover or absorption of North Korea will not be attempted Reconciliation and cooperation will be expanded Two goals peaceful management of inter-Korean unification creation of a favorable environment for North Korea to change and open itself without fear

7 Inter-Korean Summit The first ever inter-Korean summit meeting between President Kim Dae-jung and Chairman Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang on June 13-15, 2000. significant in promoting mutual understanding and trust consistently implemented its engagement policy towards N. Korea in February Inter-Korean tension-reduction & inter-Korean economic cooperation and exchanges on a non-governmental level Korean Summit (video)

8 Clinton’s pragmatic policy
Bill Clinton adapted to Kim Dae-Jung’s sunshine policy and accommodated to South Korea’s engagement initiatives vis-à-vis North Korea. Toward the last months of his presidency, US-DPRK relations showed remarkable improvements. [Albright in N Korea/ Video) (3/3.30)]

9 G.W. Bush’s (2001-present) hardline policy
refused to resume Clinton's efforts at normalizing relations with the North. disagreed with the sunshine policy The 9/11 terrorist attacks further hardened Bush’s stance toward North Korea. GWOT, the axis of evil speech, the doctrine of preemptive strike raised serious concerns in the ROK [Axis of Evil address (video) (5/5)]

10 Roh Moo-Hyun’ (2003-present) Peace and Prosperity Policy
Continuation of Kim’s sunshine policy with only cosmetic modifications. neither original nor imaginative Goals (1) promotion of peace on the Korean peninsula and pursuit of mutual prosperity for South and North Korea (2) contribution to prosperity in Northeast Asia. Attempt resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue while continuing inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation.

11 2. New Political Leaders Rise of Neo-cons (US)
neo-cons’ influence over US policy after 9/11 Neo-cons to perpetuate US hegemony by military means unilateralism and heavy-handedness alienated much of the world Views direct talks with N. Korea as appeasement

12 Rise of the 386 generation(ROK)
Roh’s government incompetent, least pro-American both the legislative and executive branches comprise the youngest, most progressive and ideological, least experienced The Roh government is most leftist and least experienced in South Korea’s political history. Roh surrounded by like-minded staff (the so-called “386 generation”) Young, progressives in power Younger and more progressive candidates gained seats in ROK legislature after the 2004 general election Nearly half of all legislators are under 50, only 13 per cent over In August 2004, 45 per cent of the ROK legislature classified as progressives

13 3. Policy Goals & National Interests
US Goals Destruction of terrorist networks Prevention of nuclear proliferation Means Unilateralism Preemption Militarization of foreign policy US Interests Global issues –GWOT, nonproliferation Global concerns circumscribe US policy toward Korea Functional experts in counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism, not Korea specialists, in charge

14 ROK interests Local interests Inter-Korean reconciliation Peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula ROK goals To prevent war on the Korean peninsula Nuclear nonproliferation of secondary importance


16 4. Perception and attitudes
ROK on DPRK Perception and attitudes toward N. Korea changed since 2000. The sunshine policy led to S. Koreans’ psychological metamorphosis People-to-people contacts lead to South Korean public’s perception change Progressive South Koreans and the Roh government do not see the nasty, brutal aspects of Kim Jong-Il’s regime Overly optimistic view of N. Korea due to “projection of its own images” and “wishful thinking” ROK on the US Perceive the US as a bully and an obstacle to inter-Korean reconciliation Anti-American sentiment grew rapid and intense after G.W. Bush came to power South Koreans’ demand for an equal and fair treatment Increasingly impatient with heavy-handed, self-centered attitudes and behavior of the US. Discontents with the existing SOFA

17 US on ROK ROK government’s refusal to follow the US lead on N. Korea’s nuclear issue passive role in dissipating anti-American sentiments as signs of ingratitude, disloyalty, and betrayal

18 5. Problems and prospects
Differences and tensions on political-security issues will persist. Economic-cultural ties will intensify Lack of understanding The Bush administration never understood potency of nationalism The Roh government didn’t appreciate the changes in the US after 9/11 Frictions ascribable to emotionalism and simplistic approaches -- Roh’s naïve attitudes -- Bush’s reliance on “hard” power The rise of pragmatists and a new US policy toward N. Korea

19 Assessement of Sunshine Policy
The Sunshine Policy a product of President Kim Dae-Jung’s obsession to facilitate reconciliation, peaceful existence, and gradation unification w/ NK The Roh Moo-Hyun government embraced the policy and its North Korea policy stayed on the same course without self-reflection or critical assessments. After ten years of the Sunshine Policy in place, the outcomes are disappointing. North Korea has embraced neither the market economy nor openness, and there are no signs that the Kim Jong-Il regime is moving closer to these goal posts. inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation are moving at the snail’s pace. Besides, rigid and relentless pursuit of the Sunshine Policy by the Kim and Roh governments contributed to schism and distrust in Seoul-Pyongyang relations.

20 The Sunshine Policy failed on two accounts.
First, it failed to fulfill the goals it set out to achieve. Second, it jeopardized South Korea’s security by damaging U.S.-ROK ties. Flaws in logic and principles. The sunshine policy sought to bring about reform and openness in North Korea through reconciliation, cooperation, and mutual exchange. The underlying assumption was that Kim Jong-Il was interested in reform and openness if his regime’s security is assured and inter-Korean relations improve. The policy also assumed that South Korea’s engagement policy would induce North Korea’s reforms and openness, which would, in turn, lead to changes in North Korea’s totalitarian rule, improve its human rights records and prompt it to adopt the free-market system. his ultimate goal is regime survival, not reconciliation and peaceful unification.

21 The “fatal conceit” South Korea, through a proper human engineering, could determine the course of North Korea’s historical development. this arrogance and conceit that made Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-Hyun overlook the Sunshine Policy’s failures and push through it with rigidity. North Korea called the Sunshine policy an attempt to dismantle the country from within and was vigilantly on guard against it.

22 Separating politics and cooperation was a central principle
The expectation was that cooperation and exchanges at the non-governmental level would eventually “spill-over” into reconciliation and mutual trust at the political level. will not be applicable to a totalitarian state like North Korea. Kim Jong-Il simply used the aid and support from the South to consolidate his rule, and as long as he was in firm control of his country he would not have any incentives to introduce reforms and openness in his country. By abandoning reciprocity and relying on “carrots” rather than “sticks,” South Korea willingly gave up any leverage it could have over the North. After a decade of the Sunshine Policy, North Korea was as isolated, unpredictable, and aggressive as ever. North Korean leaders’ world view and modus operandi are unique and incompatible with those of the leaders in open societies.

23 Wishful and wishful hearing about North Korea’s reform and openness and its nuclear intentions
choose not to see the nasty, brutal aspects of the Kim Jong-Il regime and focus on the commonalities with the North Korean people. highlight the changed aspects (limited reforms) in North Korea but overlook the unchanged aspects (communist dictatorship) of the Kim Jong-Il regime. a combination of a “projection of its own image” and a “wishful thinking” that lead many South Koreans to have an overly optimistic view of North Korea. Through personal contacts, exchanges, and joint economic projects with North Koreans, South Koreans came to realize that all Koreans are the same, and nationalistic aspirations overshadowed ideological schism. North Korea came to be viewed by many South Koreans not as an “evil” state to be crushed but as a poor, helpless state of compatriots to be embraced.

24 G.W. Bush’s hard-line policy
did not stop Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons acquisition, either. The Bush administration never understood how Korean nationalism changed South Koreans’ perception and attitudes toward the North. The 9/11 terrorist attacks had a profound impact on the U.S. government and American public mood. The Bush administration’s foreign policy turned radical and Americans became much more tolerant of extreme measures for national security. In Bush’s global war on terrorism, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were a grave threat. The Roh government did not clearly understand the repercussions of 9/11.

25 Frictions in U.S.-ROK relations
emotionalism and simplistic approaches on both sides. President Roh was naïve enough to believe he could talk President Bush into changing his hard-line policy toward North Korea and reshape U.S.-Korea relations as equals. President Bush also did not understand the profound changes that have been taking place in South Korean society in recent years and the potency of Korean nationalism. “soft power” is often more effective than hard power

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