ROK-U.S. security relations: "the China factor" and a turning point
Kim, Sung Min
Olsen, Edward A.
Miller, H. Lyman
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This thesis examines the "China factor" in the evolution of the ROK-U.S. relationship and its implications on ROK-U. S. security relations. While the "China factor" had been one of the major stimuli to maintaining a tight alliance relationship between Seoul and Washington during the Cold War era, the recently increasing importance of China in South Korea's strategic calculations has become a major detrimental factor to ROK-U.S. security relations since the end of the Cold War. Despite the recently aggravated disharmony between the ROK and the United States on their North Korea policies, the ROK-U. S. security alliance still remains intact and plays a crucial role in stabilizing Northeast Asia as well as the Korean peninsula. Within this context, the most favorable sets of policy options for the ROK and the United States regarding bilateral security relations seem to have significant convergence as well as some divergence. Facing a critical turning point of bilateral security relations, both the ROK and the United States will highly benefit from enhancing security cooperation while narrowing the policy gap between the two. The areas for further cooperation include the bilateral alliance, North Korea policy, anti- Americanism, multilateralism, and China policy.
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