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Analysis of the Bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 and the Resulting Tension Between South and North Korea

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2011, 26(1), pp.101-119
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2011.26.1.005
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

Hag man Kim 1

1우송대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

An analysis of the relationship between South and North Korea can be done in a number of different way; through analyzing its people (i.e. by observing the ideology of their respective elites, the lives of their public officials and/or ordinary people), politics and security issues, environment, society, individuals, traffic, telecommunication, economy, culture and broadcasting. However, it is hard to find academic research done in relation to analyzing the South and North Korean relationship through impact of Bombing of Korean Air Fight 858(KAL 858)Previous research on the bombing of KAL 858 mostly dealt with part of the incident. This is because most of the previous research merely described what has been reported in the research of Agency for National Security Planning (Currently called National Intelligence Service, or NIS), they fail to develop in-depth discussion to it. In other words, the incident is merely referred as a successful example of a North Korean terror attack or an example of an airplane crash. Also, the scope of discussion has been limited to two approaches. The first approach has been to discuss it as an example of North Korean terror against South Korea. The second has been to discuss the incident in relation to international law; in detail in the field of aircraft safety, Presidential elections, North Korea’s status on state terrorism lists, and North Korea’s kidnapping of Japanese citizens. Consequently, most of the research in this incident merely refer the incident for the “purpose of necessity” or repeat what has been reported by Agency for National Security Planning. For this reason, and in contrast to previous research of this incident, this paper intends to deal with the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 comprehensively by looking at the various perspective of history and the background of the incident and the resulting “vicious circle” of the South and North Korean relationship. The bombing of Korean 858 in 1987 is one of the landmarks of South and North Korean relationship since the Korean War in 1950. Through this incident, we should find the wisdom against to the provocation of North Korea against South Korea. However, it should be noted that it is not clear whether North Korea will repeat their “hit and clinch” type of policy. The reason is that even if North Korea continues their traditional cold war policies, their economy is in too much trouble to continue such policies and also it is probable South Korea will continue to put more effort in “communicate” with North, regardless of which of the South’s political parties is in power. For this reason, it is important to find a strategy to change North Korea’s repeating “hit and clinch” type of policy against South Korea to productive way.

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