ROK’s East Asian Diplomacy during the Détente: Its Effort to Retain ASPAC and Consequent Failure 1972-1973

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Lee, Sang Hyun
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Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR), Vol.3 No.2, pp. 67-100
ASPACASEANSino-American rapprochementSino-Japanese NormalizationDetenteEast Asian Community
Translated from the article published in the Korean Political Science Review, Vol. 45,

No. 5 (2011), with permission from the Korean Political Science Association.

This thesis is a part of the author’s thesis, “International relations over 1964-1973 surrounding ASPAC (Asian and Pacific Council): Between Asian People’s Anti-

Communist League and ‘Asian version Commonwealth Conference’” (University

of Tsukuba doctorate thesis claim, 2009) and has been largely revised.
Sino-American rapprochement resulted in detente by breaking the Sino-American Cold War that dominated Asia after World War Ⅱ. It also had a great impact on sustaining regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. This article analyzes Korean diplomacy toward Asia under detente in relation to the ASPAC (Asian and Pacific Council). This article explains why ASPAC became obsolete and how the Korean government attempted to preserve the ASPAC in the face of dismantlement while easing of strained relations among the states in the region. There were two reasons for the failure of ASPAC. The main external reason was that Sino-American rapprochement, in conjunction with Sino-Japanese normalization, ended the Cold War in East Asia. As a result, ASPAC was longer needed to resist Communist China. The internal reason of ASPAC was the problem with Taiwan’s membership. Some member countries were unwilling to take an active part in ASPAC, which Taiwan joined, while they started to establish diplomatic relations with mainland China. Facing the crisis of the ASPAC dismantling, the Korean government attempted to sustain ASPAC by appealing to the US government and by persuading Taiwan. Nevertheless, the diplomatic efforts of the Korean government failed because of the negative response of the US government and resistance of Taiwan.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Center for Social Sciences (사회과학연구원)Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR)Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Vol.03, No.01/02 (2013)
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