South Korean Politics and Rising 'Anti-Americanism': Implications for U.S. Policy toward North Korea [May 6, 2003] [open pdf - 448KB]
In December 2002, South Koreans elected Roh Moo-hyun, a little-known, self-educated lawyer, as their president. Roh ran on a platform of reform, pledging to make South Korean politics more transparent and accountable, to make the economy more equitable, and to make South Korea a more equal partner in its alliance with the United States. During the campaign, Roh pledged to continue his predecessor, Kim Dae Jung's, "sunshine policy" of engaging North Korea, and harshly criticized the Bush Administration's approach to Pyongyang. Roh was favored by voters under the age of 45, who emerged during the election as an anti-status quo force. The National Assembly is controlled by the opposition, right-of-center Grand National Party (GNP). This report details the political regionalism in South Korea, and explains how trends exhibited therein could hold implications for the future of relations between the U.S. and North Korea.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31906