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  • Author: David I. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1987 presidential elections have been the defining political moments in Korea. Although local elections may be more illustrative of the democratic process, for it is that level at which citizens are in intimate contact with their government and gauge its effectiveness, presidential elections command more attention because of the nature of Korean political culture. The Korean president has been half king, half chief executive. The cabinet has been his plaything, changeable at his whim; the legislature to date at most a modest thorn in his side. His phalanx of staff in the Blue House (the presidential residence) rarely questions his decisions. In his society he is far more powerful than the president of the United States is in his. There is no vice president in Korea.
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: Hugo Wheegook Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The South Korean economy has been highly praised by foreign economists as a successful model of development and proudly joined OECD in late 1996 as the world's eleventh-largest economy, with per capita annual income of over $10,000. Since then, a series of business bankruptcies and a financial crisis resulting in the imposition of IMF supervision on December 3,1997, has caused a shift in political power. The new administration began to work for systemic reforms, which have been interrupted by the political opposition, the entrenched chaebols, and labor unions.
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Hong Nack Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The South Korean political system has undergone drastic changes since the establishment of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1948. Following the authoritarian Syngman Rhee regime (1948-1960), South Korea had to endure over a quarter-century of military rule, from 1961 to 1987. In the wake of massive student demonstrations against the Chun Doo Hwan regime in 1987, the historic June 29th declaration was issued to accommodate popular demands for the democratization of the political system. It promised drastic democratic reforms, including popular direct election of the president. Following the presidential election of 1987, South Korea embarked on a new era of democratic politics.
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Ilpyong J. Kim, Dong Suh Bark
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: After three decades of military rule in South Korea, civilian democratic government was inaugurated in 1992 with direct election of the president. The political culture in South Korea, therefore, is still in the process of developing; and the transformation from authoritarian to democratic politics may take a long time.
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Hang Yul Rhee
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The spectacular performance, until recently, of East Asia's emerging economies, popularly known as the Asian tigers, has fueled wild speculation in the West about the so-called "Asian Century." "Never before in world history," noted the Economist in March 1997, "has any region sustained such rapid growth for so long." The GDP per capita of Taiwan ($13,200) and South Korea ($11,900) were already impressive enough in 1997 to place them at the gate of the advanced industrialized nations of the world. Japan, of course, has long been an acknowledged super-economy, often said to have led the flock of economic "flying geese" before they turned into what Chung-In Moon ten years ago called the "swarming sparrows" in Asia. Then suddenly last summer, seemingly as if from the blue, came the financial crisis in Pacific Asia. In reality, however, it followed what had been a decade-long period of sclerosis in the Japanese economy.
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Gon Namkung
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: To provide a better picture of Korean-American attitudes toward the unification of the two Koreas in this essay, I have employed a more definitive assessment of the generation gap in Korean-Americans' attitudes toward Korean unification issues. By using a regression analysis of survey data, this study reports and explores the intergenerational gap in perceptions of Korean unification among Korean-Americans. In operational terms, I seek to understand the generation gap by employing a multi-regression analysis of Korean- American postures on various issues concerning Korean unification. A regression analysis permits analysis of age groups without the need for panel data. It is proposed that intergenerational contrasts emerge on a number of Korean unification issues. I assume that the younger Korean-American generation tends to hold different views from those of their elders about the two Koreas and their unification. The purposes of this study are: (1) to identify socioeconomic characteristics of the younger Korean-American age groups by comparing their responses on various social values to those of their elders, (2) to develop and to test some hypotheses concerning plausible impacts that this intergenerational population replacement in the Korean-American community has on its members' postures toward the unification of their motherland, and (3) to present major findings and suggest some policy implications.
  • Political Geography: America, Korea
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: We may now be experiencing one of those relatively rare periods in world affairs when the structure of the international system does not dominate foreign policies. While the old cold war alliances have not completely disappeared from U.S. security policy, their ability to determine reflexively America's foreign relations on issues from Bosnia in Europe to the Spratly islands in the Pacific has greatly atrophied. For other states, too, domestic considerations and nearby regional concerns take precedence over alliances with remote great powers whose reliability is problematic in this new era. To better understand this unfamiliar international security environment, analysts should concentrate on internally generated alternative national visions of security which, in the aggregate, are creating a new, innovative structure of international politics.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Edward A. Olsen
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: United States-Korea security relations are experiencing a period of dynamic change that raises serious questions about the way that the relationship will evolve during the 21st Century. A number of well-known factors have provoked this phase. The end of the U.S.-Soviet cold war, North Korea's use of its nuclear card to engage the United States in a broader dialogue, South Korea's pursuit of diverse multilateral approaches to its security to shore up the U.S.-ROK alliance, and the emergence of Chinese and Japanese assertiveness in the regional balance of power, cumulatively have altered the context in which Washington and Seoul conduct their bilateral security relations. Both allies are struggling to come to grips with these new—and sometimes troubling—circumstances.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: William J. Taylor, Jr., Abraham Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The end of the cold war resulted in a mixed bag of challenges in the Northeast Asia region. The Soviet threat is gone, but the danger of regional instability is not. Lingering conflicts, old rivalries, and security challenges pose an uncertain future for the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. military presence still remains an important stabilizer in the region. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Perry stated: "It is [the U.S. military] presence that the countries of the [Asia-Pacific] region consider a critical variable in the East Asia security equation.... [and] the most important factor in guaranteeing stability and peace."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Samuel S. Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: On 17 September 1991, the first day of its (46th) annual session, the United Nations General Assembly admitted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) as the 160th and 161st member states. This historical turnabout was made possible by what had already happened in the Security Council five weeks earlier. Indeed, the 3001st meeting of the Security Council on 8 August 1991 may well be remembered as one of the remarkable events or nonevents in the annals of global high politics in the world organization. Since 1947 the Korean question, in a great variety of contentious manifestations, has proved to be one of the most intractable problems constandy intruding upon wider East-West geopolitical and ideological rivalries in and out of the world organization. Yet, on this day the Security Council devoted only five minutes—between 11:30am and 11:35am EST to be exact—to finally crossing the Rubicon on divided Korea. Without any debate, the Council unanimously adopted the report of the Committee on the Admission of New Members concerning the applications of the two Koreas for admission to membership in the United Nations.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: North Korea