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The aim of this project is to research the necessity of international cooperation on Korean unification in legal terms as South Korea’s Unification Policy and how issues of the Korean Peninsula have been dealt with in the international framework. Since this is the second year of a five-year project, the conceptual aspect requires clarification in the overall aspect and this requires a multidisciplinary approach. But the main focus remains the legal aspect, international law, in particular.

 

This study assumes that unification will be a gradual process, generally in three stages: (1) inter-Korean cooperation, (2) negotiation for inter-Korean unification (be it North Korea’s collapse, or actual inter-Korean negotiation for unification, this stage includes any inter-Korean negotiation for unification and international negotiation formula, such as Six Party Talks, etc.), and (3) post-unification integration. The study begins with the understanding that South Korea needs to be prepared for legal matters potentially arising in these processes. The project this year, in particular, deals with the legal issues that should be dealt with in the first and second stages.

 

The scope of the papers in this project covers four main areas. The first is time span. The research for this project covers the 19th century to the present and draws future-oriented implications, but the main focus is on current issues. The second is in regard to approaches. The study deals with three main approaches: historical, political, and legal, but for purposes of this project, the main focus is on the legal aspect. The third concerns the issues addressed. These are the nuclear issue, the military issue, inter-Korean cooperation issues, and the human rights issue. Finally, the scope of actors considered includes South and North Korea, neighboring countries (the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia), and international organizations (e.g., UN, WFP, WHO, etc.).

 

The papers included here are organized into three main sections. The first concerns the meaning of Korean unification and the context of international cooperation. Park Jong-Chul provides a general overview of the Park Geun-Hye administration’s North Korea and unification policy, referred to as “Trustpolitik,” and the trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the need for international cooperation. Sue Mi Terry examines the U.S. and China’s perspective on the issues laid out above. She explores areas where U.S.-China interests converge and diverge and whether strategic cooperation and coordination between the two nations are possible in the case of Korean unification.

 

The second section presents historical and legal perspectives related to the situation on the Korean peninsula. Charles K. Armstrong’s work on the historical perspective is divided into three sections chronologically: (1) the struggle of 19th Century Korea to become a modern sovereign state and its failure with the advent of colonial rule, (2) war leading to the division of the Korean Peninsula, and (3) the inter-Korean situation based on de facto recognition (as opposed to de jure) as a political entity arising out of the 1972 Joint Communiqué and the “special relationship” from then on. Next, Roh Jeong-Ho provides a legal approach to the question of inter-Korean relations and the debate on unification by dividing the period from 1876 to the present day into five distinct periods and examining the limitations to the legal order and the evolution of world order as they pertain to Korea. Finally, Leon V. Sigal discusses how international law and institutions might improve South Korean security and facilitate inter-Korean reconciliation with special attention to confidence-building in the West Sea.

 

The third section examines in greater detail the legal aspects of Inter-Korean Cooperation and human rights. Regarding human rights, it is important to consider the link between inter-Korean cooperation and human rights. The improvement of human rights and people’s livelihood in North Korea, which is part of the ultimate goal of unification, can be achieved by inter-Korean cooperation. Inter-Korean cooperation leads to inducing change in North Korea, which then logically leads to the improvement of human rights in North Korea. Lee Hyo-Won focuses on the legal matters regarding the establishment of a DMZ World Peace Park. Soung Jea-Hyen looks at the legal matters regarding the internationalization of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex. Cho Jung-Hyun provides an analysis of the contents and legal implications of the recent outcome of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the DPRK, such as the meaning of stating “crimes against humanity,” the notion of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in respect to North Korea, and transitional justice in the possible post-unification stage. Finally, David Hawk tracks North Korean human rights developments in the post-COI period.

Preface/ Jong-Chul Park and Jeong-Ho Roh

I. The Meaning of Korean Unification in the Context of International Cooperation  South Korea’s TrustPolitik and International Cooperation.....1

South Korea’s TrustPolitik and International Cooperation/  Jong-Chul Park.....3

U.S.-China Rivalry and the Unification of the Korean Peninsula/ Sue Mi Terry.....31

II. The Situation on the Korean Peninsula: Historical and Legal Perspectives .....59

An Unfinished Project: Challenges and Struggles of Korea to Become a Modern Sovereign Nation-State/ Charles K. Armstrong.....61

The Limits of Legal Order in an Evolving World Order on the Korean Peninsula/ Jeong-Ho Roh.....89

Legal Approaches to Korean Security in the Early Stages of Unification: The Armistice Agreement and the NLL/ Leon V. Sigal.....119

III. Legal Aspects of Inter-Korean Cooperation and Human Rights.....145

Legal Perspective and International Cooperation on World Peace Park in DMZ between South and North Korea

/ Hyo-Won Lee.....147

Plan for the Internationalization of the Kaesong Industrial Region and the Resolution of Its Commercial Disputes/ Jea-Hyen Soung.....169

The Report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on North Korean Human Rights: Some International Legal Analyses/

Jung-Hyun Cho.....195

North Korea’s Response to the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea/ David Hawk.....213

Contributors.....251

 

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