Two Dilemmas and Vicious Cycle of Confrontation on the Continuity of the Division of the Korean Peninsula   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The continuing division of the Korean Peninsula is the ongoing feature in inter-Korean relations, with repeating cycles of confrontations and conciliations. This thesis identifies contributing factors to the ongoing division from the intricately entangled security relations between the U.S., PRC [People's Republic of China], ROK [Republic of Korea] and DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]: rivalry and alliance. While struggling for security, they become either a security provider or a threat to other players. Each relational linkage provides an imperative security framework for the two Koreas, but these also have paradoxical security implications--'two dilemmas'--for inter-Korean reconciliation. In the relations of two sets of rivalries--the U.S.--PRC and the ROK--DPRK, the Prisoner's Dilemma explains how the rational player's interest-seeking behavior produces deadlock, even though reconciliation provides better results. Also, in the relations of two sets of alliances, the U.S.--ROK and the PRC--DPRK, the alliance security dilemma explains how divergent interests and threat perceptions between allies work against any reconciliation policy. Moreover, the interaction of rivalry and alliance produces paradoxical security dynamics among the four players, and drives them into the vicious cycle of confrontations. In short, these intricately intertwined and dilemma-contained security relations induce significant conflict between the four players for either confrontational or conciliatory policies."

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