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A Study on How the Lack of Bi-partisanship Has Affected South Korea’s Policy on North Korea: Implications for Future Relations

  • Korean Social Science Journal
  • Abbr : KSSJ
  • 2019, 46(2), pp.155-173
  • Publisher : Korean Social Science Research Council
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Published : December 1, 2019

Andrew S. Millard 1

1Busan University of Foreign Studies

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Republic of Korea (RoK) is praised for its rapid economic development, whilst simultaneously transforming its political system from an authoritarian one to a democratic one. However, compared to its economic rise, the RoK’s political transformation has been more challenging, with suppression of opposition parties, weak coalitions, and governments that, once in power, look out only for their own party’s interests. This has defined most aspects of South Korea’s political system, but the lack of bi-partisanship with regards to the unification policy with North Korea has been even more pronounced. This paper will analyze how the political evolution has shaped its system and, as such, why historical trends still play a major role in domestic politics. It will then focus on the fluctuation in unification policies throughout the various governments, and show that this pattern of shifting policy is now weakening South Korea’s own position with regards to the North, as well as the RoK’s allies.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.