Eberstadt, Nicholas
December 1992
Foreign Affairs;Winter92, Vol. 71 Issue 5, p150
In this article the author discusses as to how the Cold War is still being played out on the divided, heavily armed Korean peninsula. Korea, one of the true flashpoints of the post-Cold War world, is approaching a momentous juncture--one comparable to the partition of 1945 or the terrible war of 1950-53. For Korea is now heading toward reunification. Several factors promise to make the road to Korean reunification far more complex and protracted than that of West Germany swallowing up East Germany: the degree of military mobilization on both sides of the border; the question of North Korea's indigenous nuclear weapons capability; the disinclination of China--North Korea's remaining patron--to cut a deal for reunification. Because North Korea presents such an unattractive face to the outside world, it has often been misjudged. Of all Asia's communist states, only North Korea avoided famine in the course of its collectivization of agriculture. For decades North Korea's industry apparently outperformed South Korea's. North Korea's foreign policy skillfully played its communist neighbors--China and the Soviet Union--against one another for more than a generation, extracting aid from both while deferring to neither.


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