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Korean Unification: Opportunities and Threats

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North and South Korea signed a major historical and political document on 19 February 1992. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea DPRK and the Republic of Korea ROK recognized each other as sovereign states. in addition, they agreed to support the Korean peninsula as a nuclear free zone. The two countries have existed in fact since the partition of the peninsula after the allied victory over Japan In 1945. For almost fifty years, these two significantly armed states have spared over the Demilitarized Zone DMZ on the 38th Parallel. This period also included a three year war, 1950 to 1953, directly involving forces of two of the major powers, the United States US and China. The United Nations UN was actively Involved In terminating hostilities although neither North or South Korea were members of that august body at the time. The security of the ROK has been a major factor in US national security policy. This historic event can be an opportunity for a broad, patient US-led effort to reinforce relations with and between the two Koreas resulting potentially in a peaceful reunification of the Korean nation. The peaceful reunification of Korea, with direct US involvement, can be a major factor in Improved stability in the North East Asia region. Koreas geopolitical importance is due primarily to Its strategic location among three of the worlds great nations China, Russia, and Japan. Each has historically been an aspiring power over the peninsula. The US Is perceived by all these historical adversaries as a balancing and stabilizing force in the region. The US can affect the evolution of the Korean nation by carefully applying its influence In economic issues, political affairs, and use of military forces to enhance the peaceful unification process.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Nuclear Weapons

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