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  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Oct. 3 Six-Party Talks agreement on next steps in North Korea's denuclearization and the Oct. 4 inter-Korean summit declaration shaped developments in China-Korean relations in the last quarter of 2007, as China reaffirmed its peacemaking role on the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Communist Party official Liu Yunshan visited Pyongyang in late October with a message from Hu Jintao, resuming party-to-party high-level contacts with Pyongyang after a year's break. Similarly, Six-Party Talks lead negotiator Wu Dawei visited Pyongyang in mid-December to encourage North Korean counterparts to follow through on obligations to disable and declare nuclear facilities by the end of the year in accordance with the Feb. 13 and Oct. 3 agreements. South Korean telecommunications companies worked hard to gain an advantage over global competitors in the Chinese market, while Korean automobile and steel manufacturers faced new challenges as industrial espionage involving proprietary technology drew an even higher profile in both sectors. China's search for financing has not bypassed the Korean equity market, as Korea's China-focused equity funds gained while the Korean Stock Exchange attempts to attract Chinese firms to list directly on the Korean exchange.
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Sinai Peninsula, Pyongyang
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For almost the whole of the first quarter of 2008, official inter-Korean relations were largely suspended in an uneasy limbo. As of late March, that void was the story. Up to a point this was only to be expected. A new conservative leader in Seoul – albeit a pragmatist, or so he tells us – was bound to arouse suspicion in Pyongyang at first. Also, Lee Myung-bak needed some time to settle into office and find his feet.
  • Political Geography: Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The South Korean political transition to a new administration under President Lee Myung-bak catalyzed diplomatic contacts designed to size up the new leader and to establish the foundations for a new era in the Sino-South Korean relationship. Accompanying this transition, Beijing redoubled efforts to manage relations with Pyongyang through high-level party-to-party exchanges with Kim Jong-il. Chinese food assistance to North Korea and the North Korean commitments in the Six-Party Talks framework to declare nuclear-related programs dominated conversations with the Dear Leader. The rise in “fly-by-night” departures of South Korean small investors from China resulting from rising Chinese labor costs and changing incentives for investments in China requires diplomatic management between Beijing and Seoul. Finally, “yellow dust,” Tibet, Taiwan, and quality controls on food exports to Korea are nagging issues that cloud the relationship.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Beijing, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Rarely does the political weather change so abruptly with the calendar as it has in Korea during the past quarter. As we reported in our last issue, North Korea chose April 1 – April Fools' day – to finally break its long silence on the South's new leader Lee Myung-bak, who was elected president last December 19 and took office on February 25. With rare restraint, Pyongyang had kept its counsel for several months since Lee – a former mayor of Seoul, ex-Hyundai CEO and self-described pragmatic conservative – was elected president by a large majority on a platform of mending fences with the U.S. and curbing Seoul's “sunshine” policy of the past decade. Though ready to expand inter-Korean dealings on his own terms – as in his Vision 3000 program, which offered to triple North Korean national income to US$3,000 per head – Lee insisted on linking any increased cooperation to progress on the North's nuclear disarmament.
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Games of the 29th Olympiad had preoccupied Chinese leaders for almost a decade as they sought to utilize it to project to domestic and international audiences China's accomplishments on an international stage. It has framed many issues in Sino-Korean relations, especially given the many resonances between the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the Beijing Olympics two decades later. But now that the Games are over, Chinese leaders may adopt a different frame for viewing the world and the Korean Peninsula, the details of which have begun to emerge in the “post-Olympics era.” President Lee Myung-bak was among the many world leaders who attended the opening ceremonies, while President Hu Jintao returned the visit to Seoul only two weeks later, less than a day after the closing ceremonies in Beijing. In contrast, Kim Jong-il was a no-show not only for the Olympics, but also for the 60th anniversary commemoration of the founding of the DPRK on Sept. 9. The Olympics brought with it a surprising undercurrent of popular anti-Korean sentiment in China, most of it stimulated through internet rumors and the attempt by Korean journalists to tape and release a portion of the Olympic opening ceremonies days before the event. This sentiment may suggest that the “Korean wave” (Chinese attraction to Korean pop culture) is receding – or at least that it is accompanied by a strong undertow of backlash among certain segments of Chinese society. On the Korean side, Chinese product safety issues are another drag on the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 1, 2008: South Korean biotech company RNL Bio Ltd. and Tiantan Puhua Hospital in Beijing announce a collaboration to commercialize stem cell technology and research. July 8, 2008: President Lee Myung-bak meets President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Toyako, Japan. July 23, 2008: The Korea Electric Power Corporation announces that it will build wind-power facilities worth $150 million in Neimeng and Gansu provinces in China.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Korea
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although there was little movement in Japan's relations with North Korea, this quarter was dominated by the news leaking out of North Korea in early September that Kim Jong-il was potentially very sick. Questions about Kim's health, the status of his leadership in North Korea, and the future of North Korea's leadership quickly dominated discussion. Coupled with Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda's surprise resignation and the quick choice of Aso Taro as prime minister, Japanese foreign policy was on a brief hiatus while the new leader set his own agenda. Known as a conservative, it is expected that Aso will take a harder line toward the North – and the region more generally – than did Fukuda. But his official appointment, coming on Sept. 24, was so recent that it is too early to see how Aso plans to proceed. Thus, there was actually little substantive change in Japan's relations with North Korea, and the quarter ended basically where it began.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 9, 2008: New York Times carries a full-page advertisement, “Do you know?” claiming South Korean sovereignty over the Dokdo/Takeshima islets. July 10-12, 2008: A Heads of Delegation Meeting of the Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing. July 14, 2008: The Japanese government announces that new guidelines for middle school teachers will describe the Dokdo/Takeshima islets as an integral part of Japanese territory.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Japan, New York, Korea