Drawing from strategic history, this article makes five observations on the Korean Peninsula. First, land and sea powers have attempted to carve out their respective spheres in Korea. Second, they have initially pursued a negative strategy denying access to, instead of an outright occupation of, Korea. Third, great powers have considered their Korea policy in connection with other regions. Fourth, the political status of Korea has reflected the balance between land and sea powers. Finally, Korea’s domestic situation has served as a catalyst for great power intervention. This analysis yields contemporary policy implications as great power competition returns to Asia.