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A Subtle Difference between Russia and China’s Stances toward the Korean Peninsula and Its Strategic Implications for South Korea

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Authors
Lee, Sun-Woo; Cho, Hyungjin
Issue Date
2018-06
Publisher
Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.25 No.1, pp. 113-130
Keywords
Korea-Russia RelationsKorea-China RelationsSino-Russian RelationsNew Cold WarNortheast AsiaTHAAD in South Korea
Abstract
In a “New Cold War,” Northeast Asia becomes a battlefield among great powers. China no longer seems to accept any further erosion of its strategic advantages, particularly the deployment of THAAD in South Korea. Thus South Korea is finding no recourse for ameliorating the North Korean nuclear problem within a “great game” between the US and China. But there is a difference between Russia and China’s strategic position. Russia is relatively detached from the security dilemma unfolding in Northeast Asia. While Beijing perceives the THAAD as a fundamental threat, Moscow’s strategic sensitivity is lower. Moreover, Russia is able to keep North Korea at a greater distance than China, which faces difficulty in neglecting its buffer state. Additionally, Moscow’s growing economic influence in North Korea recently assists in maximizing its strategic goals. Indeed Russia could conceivably reap big rewards by supplanting China and adopting a new role as regional balancer. Thus South Korea is able to secure its strategic autonomy by using Russia as a bulwark against the current geopolitical dilemma.
ISSN
1226-8550
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/145109
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area StudiesJournal of International and Area Studies vol.25 (2018)
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