Bolstering the U.S. Commitment to Improved Inter-Korean Relations
Olsen, Edward A.
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U.S. policy toward the inter-Korean relations of a divided Korea draws upon a complex historical legacy of the 19th and 20th centuries which influences current and future policy options. American cooperation with the ROK and adversarial relations with the DPRK symbolize the essence of the U.S. role between the two Koreas, but they also provide the framework for post-Cold War U.S. approaches to inter-Korean relations. North Korea’s post-Cold War strategic brinkmanship and nuclear agenda have escalated tensions, but also caused Americans during the Clinton and Bush administrations to consider more creative alternatives for dealing with inter-Korean dynamics. U.S. policy options toward inter-Korean affairs also are being shaped by post-9/11 U.S. global security issues and the geopolitical debate they created for the politics of the 2008 presidential election campaigns, setting the stage for the forthcoming Obama administration’s potential policies toward Korean relations on bilateral, multilateral, and unification issues. It would be very useful for the Obama administration to support developing a “U.S. Center” focusing on inter-Korean peace and unification.
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