Insuk lee North Korean Views of and Policy Towards the South
2. North Korean Views of the South 1. Introduction 3. North Korean Policy towards the South 4. Conclusion
North Korean Views of the South North Korea has seen South Korea as a competitor or a rival in making an all-Korean nation state, having political instinct, motivation, idea, and interest to remove it. But North Korea had to adapt itself to the changing power relations between the two and viewed the South as a more powerful and threatening competitor since 1970s and as a strategic competitor particularly since June 2000. North Korean Policy towards the South North Korean policy towards the South, particularly its unification policy, has been heavily influenced by the North Korean leadership’s views of the South and the changes in domestic and international structures. North Korea’s policy towards the South has evolved from military conquest to peaceful coexistence. 1. Introduction
2. North Korean Views of the South North Korea’s Desire to make an All-Korean State North Korea’s Changing Views of the South State Formation: Theory (1) Agential variables - Statemaker’s instinct, motivation, idea, and interest - Statemaker’s three capabilities: coercive, war-making, and extractive capabilities (2) Structural variables - Domestic and external opportunity structures
South Korea as a competitor in making an all-Korean nation state
South Korea as a more powerful and threatening competitor since 1970s
South Korea as a threatening but strategic competitor in peaceful coexistence since June 2000.
3. North Korean Policy towards the South North Korea’s “Unification Policy” towards the South Objective: Formation of an all-Korean Nation State through Unification Unification Policy: Result of the Interaction between Agential and Structural Variables - Construction of the North as a Democratic Base - Unification by the Use of Force (The Korean War) - Strengthening of a South Korean Revolution - Pursuit of a Federal State: Towards Coexistence *1960: a confederal state (confederation) *1973: Confederal Republic of Koryo (federation) *1980: Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo (federation) *1991: a temporarily-loosened form of Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo *2000: a lower stage of Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo
3. North Korean Policy towards the South (Cont'd) North Korea’s “Unification Policy” towards the South (Cont’d) Unification Policy (Cont’d) - Pursuit of Peaceful Coexistence *1972: July 4 th North-South Joint Statement (three principles of national unification: “ independence, peaceful unification, and grand national unity”) *1991: North-South Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression, and Cooperation and Exchanges ( North-South Basic Agreement) *1993: Ten-Point Platform of All-Korean Grand Unity for Fatherland’s Unification *1997: Kim Jong Il’s “August 4 th Thesis” and Three-Point Charter of Fatherland’s Unification *1998: Five-Point Measures of All-Korean Grand Unity *1999: Letter sent to South Korean authorities, and political parties and social organizations and key Korean figures in the South and overseas *2000: North-South Korean Summit and June 15 th North-South Joint Declaration (“Milestone of National Unification for the 21 st Century” and “June 15 th Spirit” ) Cf. 2002- : North Korean nuclear crisis: “By Our Nation Itself”
4. Conclusion “ Continuity” and “Change” of North Korean Views and Policy
North Korea has basically continued to have political instinct, motivation, and interest to
form an all-Korean nation state on its own terms by winning an authority competition
in the whole Korean peninsula.
Such instinct, motivation, and interest expressed themselves into differing views and policies
depending on the leadership’s ideas and decisions and domestic and external circumstances.
Overall, the changes in North Korea’s views of and policy towards the South have been
influenced by the changes in power relations vis-à-vis the South and in domestic and external
political opportunity structures.
Concretely, North Korean unification strategy has changed from an offensive policy
even of using military force at the early years to a defensive policy of pursuing reconciliation
and cooperation and peaceful coexistence.
Prospects for North Korea’s Policy towards the South
It looks practically impossible for North Korea to obtain capabilities to achieve
unification or form an all-Korean nation state on its own terms considering its failing
systemic and economic performance.
The authority competition between the two Koreas that has continued for the past
six decades has practically ended in favor of the South, and the future of the Korean nation
lies on the shoulder of South Korea.
For South Korea to plan and achieve its long-term goal of peaceful unification and
prosperity of the Korean nation, the “North Korean problem” including the North Korean
nuclear and missile issues have to be solved peacefully.