Korea and the world: beyond the Cold War
During the Cold War era, Korea’s security agenda was defined largely by superpower rivalry. The goal of U.S. strategy, as reflected in the Truman Doctrine, was to stem the tide of communist expansionism and contain Soviet power within the USSR’s existing borders. Korea was cast as a crucial buffer and fulcrum in the balance of power among the major powers surrounding the peninsula, and North Korea’s invasion in 1950 of its southern neighbor was seen as a key test of containment policy.Now that the Cold War is over, it is time to reconsider the Korean peninsula’s strategic role in global and regional politics. In this book, leading scholars provide new perspectives on Korea’s changing role in the new world order. What are the implications of the dramatic end of the Cold War for East Asia and the Korean peninsula? Will peace and prosperity return to the region, followed by the reunification of divided Korea? Or will history repeat itself in the form of violent conflict and rivalry, as in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century East Asia? The contributors consider these questions in the context of major powers’ policies toward the Korean peninsula, inter-Korean relations, and revived prospects for Korean reunification.
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