S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Center for Social Sciences (사회과학연구원) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Vol.02, No.01/02 (2012)
The U.S. Carter Administration and Korea in the 12/12 Incident: Concession of Moral Diplomacy
- Park, Won Gon
- Issue Date
- Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR), Vol.2 No.2, pp. 253-281
- the 12/12 Incident; the Carter Administration; Chun Doo-hwan; Park Chung-hee; the US hostage crisis in Iran; Korea
- Translated from the article published in The Korean Journal of International Studies 50(4), 2010 with permission from The Korean Association of International Studies.
- The Carter administration knew that the 12/12 incident that occurred in South Korea in 1979 was a coup d’etat that would hamper the country’s process of democratization.
However, it did not take positive action to thwart it. According to the relevant materials, including declassified documents, the Carter administration detected the possibility of a coup d’etat in South Korea and de cursory efforts, including informing the South Korean government of such, what it actually implemented on December 12, 1979, and its stance in the period following the incident, was nothing more than passive adaptation to the altered situation. Such an attitude taken by the Carter administration was the result of the domestic factors that were prevalent in Korea at the time, such as the absence of an optional faction due to the inability of the Choi Gyu-ha administration and the fear of a recurrence of a coup d’etat, combined with the securityrelated concerns pertaining to Northeast Asia in the shape of confusion in South Korea and the North’s miscalculation. Simultaneously, the Iran hostage crisis in the American Embassy in Iran in the same year also served as a factor that impacted the way the Carter administration responded to the 12/12 incident in South Korea.