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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Policy Paper 45: Korean Peninsula Security and the U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines


Two leading Asia scholars, Prof. Ahn Byung-joon and Dr. Konstantin Sarkisov, led discussions about U.S.–Japan relations, the U.S.–Japan Defense Guidelines Review, and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula at the seventh NEACD plenary in Tokyo. These contributions were subsequently revised to reflect the tumultuous events of the first half of 1998: the inauguration of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and his “sunshine policy” towards North Korea; stalemate in the Four Party Talks on the Korean peninsula; a second Clinton-Jiang summit; and the deepening of the economic crisis in Asia.

Presented here are Prof. Ahn Byung-joon’s (Yonsei University, Seoul) reflections upon the revision of the U.S.–Japan Defense Guidelines and their potential impact upon regional security. Dr. Konstantin Sarkisov (Institute of Oriental Studies in the Russian Academy of Sciences and visiting professor, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan) addresses the challenge of putting the continuing conflict on the Korean peninsula in the context of the broader regional security environment. While addressing different topics, both make remarkably similar observations regarding the increasing complementarity between bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts in Northeast Asia, despite the lack of an official multilateral organization akin to NATO or the European Union.

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