남북관계 비대칭적 분단국체제론 : The Inter‐Korean Relationship and the Concept of the Asymmetrical Divided State System

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Institute for peace and unification studies(서울대학교 통일평화연구소)
Journal of peace and unification studies, Vol.1, pp. 3-28
inter-Korean relationsdivided statesocial subjectasymmetryasymmetrical divided states regime
This paper aims at conceptualizing contemporary inter-Korean relations by
focusing on the idea of a special relationship constituted temporarily in the
process of unification which was expressed in the 1992 Agreement on
Reconciliation, Non-aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation Between
South and North Korea (The Basic Agreement).
The idea was designed to accommodate the contradictory conditions that
exist between the two Koreas – two different political communities with
hostile ideologies and institutions – while they try to achieve unification.
The definition of special relationship constituted temporarily in the process
of unification has been used as a basic principle to manage inter-Korean
relations during the last decade. It has allowed the political flexibility which
was necessary to find a contact point somewhere between the hostile
conditions and nationalistic hope. Thus, understanding the contradictions
between political community and cultural nationality is very important in
theory as well as in practice. This paper, however argues that a social
dimension needs to be added in explaining the special requirements of
inter-Korean relations. Aside from the political and national realms, the
social realm consisting of the diverse activities of voluntary associations,
such as NGOs and corporations, should be considered. Over the last decade the social dimension has developed sufficiently to constitute a special
relationship that can exist separately from the political bargaining and
national homogeneity.
To understand the complex relations between South and North Korea,
this paper suggests the concept of the asymmetrical divided-state system.
The idea of a divided state can explain the contradictory conditions that
exist within the temporary states of the two Koreas. The word system is
needed to explain the international context in which multilateral influences
are exerted upon the two Koreas under the current armistice regime. Finally,
the world asymmetrical conceptualizes the difference and diversity between
the two Koreas social aspects like economy and civil participation. In
summary, the new concept of the asymmetrical divided-state system is a
useful construct to capture the complex and specific nature of inter-Korean
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Researcher Institutes (연구소, 연구원)Institute for Peace and Unification Studies (통일평화연구원)Journal of peace and unification studies (통일과 평화)Journal of peace and unification studies (통일과 평화) no.01 (2009)
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