Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts South Korea’s Search for a Unification Strategy

South Korea’s Search for a Unification Strategy

As South Korea’s president from 1998 through February 2003, Kim Dae Jung kept to a course of constructive engagement with North Korea. His successor, Roh Moo Hyun, has vowed to see to it that embracing Pyongyang is continued as the official unification policy of his new government. Kim’s policy toward Pyongyang has produced mixed results. On the bright side, Kim was able to step foot on North Korean soil in June 2000, the first time a leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a summit with the leader of the Republic of Korea (ROK). South Korean tourists are regularly visiting Mt. Geumgang in the North, and bilateral economic exchanges are gradually growing. Political contacts between Seoul and Pyongyang are often cordial, and people-to-people contacts have been initiated, albeit on a limited scale.

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