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  • Author: Michael MacArthur Bosack
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United Nations Command is the multinational headquarters that led the allied forces in the Korean War. The command’s Military Armistice Commission supervises the Armistice Agreement. While the United Nations Command and its activities are common knowledge in the Republic of Korea, the command’s long-standing organization and functions in Japan are less well known. This relationship began in 1950 and is codified in the 1954 United Nations-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The command’s rear area headquarters, the aptly named United Nations Command-Rear Headquarters, has managed this relationship since 1957. After decades of few changes, the United Nations Command and its Sending States broadened traditional roles and missions from Japan beginning in the early 2000s. This led to expanded activities within the legal framework and security mandate governing the United Nations Command’s relationship with Japan, strengthening Japan’s ties with the command’s member states, and supporting the “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. This paper examines the relationship between the United Nations Command and Japan, beginning with the institutions and interests underpinning the relationship. Next, it describes the Status of Forces Agreement and how the relationship functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant policy issues, limitations to greater cooperation, and opportunities for expanded roles within the framework of the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Military Affairs, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations, United States of America
  • Author: J. Marshall Unger
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: On the basis of the comparative method, developed over more than two centuries of empirical study, the best results to date are that the presentday Korean and Japanese languages had a common source, called protoKorean-Japanese. Korean and Japanese are more similar to one another than either is to any of the languages spoken in adjacent parts of Asia. That is as far as pure linguistics takes us at present. Other scientific disciplines must be utilized to determine when and where proto-Korean-Japanese was spoken, when its speakers separated into pre-Korean and pre-Japanese groups, and when the descendants of those groups resumed contact on the Korean peninsula prior to the migration of most pre-Japanese speakers to Japan.
  • Topic: Migration, History, Linguistics, Language
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Korea
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Founder and first Commandant Shin Hyun-joon led the Republic of Korea Marine Corps longer than any other officer. Created without American advisors or equipment, the Navy’s amphibious unit initially reflected his long association with the customs and practices of the Imperial Japanese Army and lessons learned on battlefields across Manchuria and China. Shin’s path to the Corps’ top position also included service with the Korean Coast Guard and Republic of Korea Navy. He led Marines in counterguerrilla operations on Cheju Island, during the Incheon-Seoul campaign, and in fighting along the east coast. As commandant, Shin transformed the rapidly expanding Corps, forging a relationship with the United States Marine Corps and instituting training and education practices modeled on the American system. He remained in uniform after serving as commandant, commanding the 1st Marine Brigade, advising the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Minister of National Defense, and forming the Marine Education Base. Avowedly apolitical, he was nonetheless close to the leaders of South Korea’s first three republics: respected by Syngman Rhee, beloved by Chang Myon, and esteemed and subsequently feared by Park Chung-hee. Shin is not only South Korea’s longest serving general officer, but the nation’s longest serving ambassador. Drawn from the memoirs of General Shin and his contemporaries, this essay provides insight into the relationships between the “Father of the Marine Corps” and the Republic of Korea’s early leaders in the establishment and evolution of this elite military service.
  • Topic: History, Military Affairs, Leadership, Conflict, Coup
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: With nearly 900,000 long-term residents, Japan has one of the largest populations of overseas Koreans. Japan is unique in that it is the only country that further classifies its Korean residents by external political affiliation; i.e., those not adopting Japanese nationality are affiliated with the Korean Residents Union of Japan (Mindan) or the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), organizations that are linked to South and North Korea, respectively. The status of Korean residents in Japan, and both organizations supporting them, is a product of Japan’s complex relationship with the Korean Peninsula during the last century. American concerns about Japan’s Korean residents—both as an occupying power and a treaty ally—add another dimension to what should have been a domestic or bilateral issue between the Government of Japan, its Korean residents, and North or South Korea. Chongryon’s long-term financial, material, and technical support to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs highlighted the differences between all governments. However, Pyongyang’s admission that it abducted Japanese citizens has brought about significant changes in the Japanese government’s policies toward North Korea and Chongryon. These include the suspension of ferry services between the two countries and limiting remittances to North Korea. As the Trump Administration considers tighter sanctions as part of its North Korean strategy, the history of the Japan’s relations with its proPyongyang residents provides a cautionary tale about the international community’s ability to use sanctions as a means to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile ambitions.
  • Topic: Immigration, Sanctions, Weapons , Ethnicity, Abductions
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses Japan’s role in Korean security using the quasialliance model. Developed by Professor Victor Cha, the quasi-alliance model to analyze the security relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea, “two states that remain unallied despite sharing a common ally.” Cha defined the quasi-alliance model as “the triangular relationship between two states that are not allied, but share a third party as a common ally.” A key assumption is that the third state serves as the “great-power protector of the two states, and therefore exit opportunities for the two are limited.” While historical issues affected relations between Tokyo and Seoul, American security policies were the primary determinant of cooperation between Japan and Korea. American policy changes produced distinct “abandonment” or “entrapment” responses within the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK security alliances: shared perceptions yielded cooperation, while differing views produced friction. This paper analyzes America’s East Asia policies during the Bush and Obama administrations to assess Japanese and Korean reactions. Analyzed through the quasi-alliance model, American policies produced asymmetric responses in Japan and Korea, inhibiting security cooperation between Tokyo and Seoul. Diverging views of China exacerbated inherent friction between Korea and Japan. Thus, Japan will play a limited role in Korean security.
  • Topic: Security, Grand Strategy, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The new national security leaders in Japan, the United States, China and the two Koreas have assumed office at a precarious time. Despite the recent relaxation of tensions, conditions are ripe for further conflict in Northeast Asia. The new DPRK leadership is as determined as its predecessor to possess nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles while resisting unification or reconciliation with South Korea and its allies. The new government in Tokyo is also augmenting its military capabilities. Meanwhile, despite Chinese efforts to restart the Six-Party Talks, the Obama administration has refused to engage with the DPRK until it demonstrates a willingness to end its nuclear weapons program and improving intra-Korean ties. But this policy of patiently waiting for verifiable changes in DPRK policies may be too passive in the face of North Korea' s growing military capabilities, leading the new South Korean government, striving to maneuver between Beijing and Washington, to consider new initiatives to restart a dialogue with the North even while reinforcing its own military capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The end of President Barack Obama's first term provides an opportunity to assess what the administration's "strategic rebalancing" toward and within the Asia-Pacific region (sometimes called the "Asian Pivot" or "Back to Asia" policy) has accomplished as well as what challenges and unmet opportunities remain. The administration has launched several successful multinational diplomatic initiatives in the region to supplement U.S. bilateral ties with key Asian partners; relations with ASEAN have clearly improved. The economic dimension of the Pivot has made progress as seen by the growth of support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Asia have proved far less successful, except perhaps for Myanmar, where the political transition remains a work in progress. The U.S. military has managed to establish a broader presence in the region, especially in Australia and Southeast Asia. U.S. officials have sought to impart new energy into the five existing formal U.S. bilateral defense alliances in Asia--with Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea. But the main problem with the pivot has been the inability to overcome Chinese anxiety about U.S. rebalancing, which has complicated their cooperation over North Korea and other issues. Fortunately, relations between the United States and South Korea are also strong. The ROK is becoming an important U.S. partner in several dimensions of the Pivot, though ROK-U.S. differences over North Korea might emerge with the advent of a new government in Seoul.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, Australia, Thailand
  • Author: Celeste Arrington
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Nearly all foreign nationals allegedly abducted by North Korea (DPRK) were Japanese or South Korean citizens. Suspected abductees' families mobilized in Japan and South Korea in the late 1990s to raise awareness of the abductions, seek information about their loved ones, and hold their own governments responsible for not having protected citizens. But public and political concern for abductee and their families has differed greatly in Japan and South Korea (ROK). The abductions have dominated Japanese public consciousness and policymakers' decisions regarding North Korea for the past decade, since the late Kim Jong-il admitted North Korean involvement in the abductions of thirteen Japanese nationals. Although more than five hundred South Korean abductees remain detained in North Korea, the abductions issue has received less attention in South Korea. What accounts for such variation in the trajectories of the abductions issue and related activism in Japan and South Korea? This article posits that the divergence in the efficacy of families' activism in Japan and South Korea is the product of families' interactions with each country's distinctive media and activist spheres. Thus, this article elucidates key features of the Japanese and Korean public spheres that affect each country's North Korea policy.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Japan, Korea
  • Author: Taewoo Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In the last decade the ROK-U.S. alliance has soured as the two ideologically slanted predecessor administrations of Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun brandished 'idealist policy experiments' over issues critical to the alliance. Under the banner of 'autonomy,' the Roh administration initiated the 2007 decision to separate operational control (OPCON) and dismantle the Combined Forces Command (CFC) by 2012. The Defense Reform 2020 was a decisive masterpiece to placate the conservative realists critical to the Roh's leftist experiments. The task of redressing the vestige of distortions belongs to the newly elected Lee Myung Bak, who already began restoration of the bilateral relations since the two summits in 2008, which promised to forge a 'strategic alliance.' If the 2007 agreement over OPCON and CFC is irreversible, the Lee administration has no other choice but to formulate a new security cooperation while utilizing the Defense Reform as the highway leading to military transformation and upgraded ROK-U.S. cooperation in that regard. The rationale is that the U.S. will remain a critical partner even after the transfer of OPCON in all defense areas such as collaboration upon a Korean contingency, purchase of new weapon systems, and interoperability. There are other critical issues that need mutual adjustment and understanding. For South Korea, more active participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is worth a try. The U.S. needs to understand South Korea's hesitation to fully participate in the U.S.-initiated TMD. Technically, the proximity to North Korea's high speed ballistic missiles may nullify the South's missile defense efforts. Politically, such participation will irritate China and Russia. Particularly, U.S. recognition of Japan's claim over Dokdo (Takesima) island, if any, will pour cold water on ROK-U.S.-Japan trilateral maritime cooperation, and dishearten 'ordinary South Koreans' who pin high expectations on the 'strategic alliance.'
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, Island
  • Author: Yoon-Shik Park
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: In October 2006, North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK in short) tested a nuclear bomb based on plutonium, thus proclaiming it to be a full member of the select nuclear bomb club. Whether the test was a resounding success or not is still not fully resolved, and the status of North Korea's uranium enrichment program is yet to be admitted by the DPRK government. Faced with strong international condemnation and a movement towards punitive sanctions coordinated by the United Nations, DPRK reached an agreement at the six party talks on February 13, 2007, under which DPRK eventually agreed to abandon its nuclear programs in return for aid. The accord implements a deal reached in September 2005, but the talks had stalled until early 2007. Paradoxically, a nuclear North Korea may lead to successful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and robust economic developments there. As the DPRK regime feels confident enough in security terms now that it is recognized as a nuclear club member, it can enter into a “big deal” with its main opposing powers, the United States, Japan and South Korea, for swapping its nuclear weapons program for an iron-clad security guarantee and massive economic assistance for the modernization of the DPRK economy.
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea