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The Korean Pivot: Challenges and Opportunities from Evolving Chinese-Russian and U.S.-Japanese Security Ties

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Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher(s): Korea Economic Institute (U.S.)

Author(s): Richard Weitz

Funder(s): Korea Economic Institute (U.S.)

Funder(s): Korea Economic Institute (U.S.)

Topic: International relations (International peace and security)

Type: Report

Coverage: Korea (North) Russia (Federation) China China Japan


This paper provides an analytical assessment of the implications for North and South Korea of recent changes in the Chinese-Russian and U.S.-Japanese security relationships. The evolution of these two security relationships presents challenges and opportunities for both Korean states. On the one hand, the evolving situation could lead to a revival of Cold War alignments, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia resisting Japanese-U.S. efforts to force the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon its nuclear weapons program. In this case, both sides would pressure the leaders of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to support their positions. On the other hand, the six-party talks, the military alliance between South Korea and the United States, and other existing security ties might help provide the basis for launching multinational initiatives to address regional security issues. In this scenario, opportunities would arise for profitable security linkages across the Sino-Russian and U.S.-Japanese alignments.