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The foreign policy of Park Chunghee: 1968- 1979

Choi, Lyong (2012) The foreign policy of Park Chunghee: 1968- 1979. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis is a history of South Korean policy towards North Korea and its general foreign policy at the time of fluctuation of relations between the allies, the Republic of Korea and USA, between 1968 and 1979. The thesis shows how American East Asian policy and South Korean people‘s aspiration for the reunification and democracy of Korea affected Park Chunghee‘s Cold War strategy. After Park Chunghee failed to find a common ideological foundation with the Americans, the South Korean leader started to re-consider the inter-Korean problem and ROKUS relations in realistic term. In the late-1960s and early 70s, Seoul shifted from antagonism toward Pyongyang to negotiation with the North Koreans in order to support American rapprochement with China. But simultaneously, the Park regime established the authoritarian state and resisted the American influence on its foreign policy. With regards to the ROK-US rift, the thesis points to their misperceptions between the South Korean and American leaders in their war in Vietnam and East-West reconciliation. In addition, this thesis also shows how South Korean nationalism and liberal movement affected Park Chunghee‘s policy. The aspiration of South Korean public for the reunification and democracy of Korea pushed policy makers over despotic rule and the aggressive policy toward North Korea.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Lyong Choi
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Sets: Departments > International History
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/506

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