The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History

The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History

by Don Oberdorfer, Robert Carlin

Paperback(Revised Edition)

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An acclaimed history of the Korean Peninsula from World War II to the present day

North Korea is an impoverished, famine-ridden nation, but it is also a nuclear power whose dictator Kim Jong-un regularly threatens his neighbors and adversaries, the United States in particular, with destruction. Even though Kim and President Donald Trump's responses to him dominate the daily headlines, the idea that North Korea is a menace is not a new one. Indeed, ever since Korea was first divided at the end of World War II, the tension between its northern and southern halves has riveted-and threatened to embroil—the rest of the world. In this landmark history, veteran journalist Don Oberdorfer and Korea expert Robert Carlin grippingly describe how a historically homogenous people became locked in a perpetual struggle for supremacy—and how other nations including the United States have tried, and failed, to broker a lasting peace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465031238
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/10/2013
Edition description: Revised Edition
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 395,652
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Don Oberdorfer wrote for the Washington Post for twenty-five years, and was later on the Chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He died in 2015.

Robert Carlin is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and former chief of the Northeast Asia Division in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition xiii

Preface to the Second Edition xv

A Note on Korean Names xix

1 Where the Wild Birds Sing 1

The Emergence of Two Koreas 2

War and Its Aftermath 6

The Origins of Negotiation 9

Kim II Sung 13

Conversations with the South 18

2 The End of the Beginning 22

Park Chung Hee 25

Washington Blinks at Park's Coup 30

The Impact of Yashin 33

3 The Trouble Deepens 39

Tensions Increase 40

The Struggle with Japan 42

The Underground War 45

Challenge from the North 47

Echoes of Saigon 52

The South Korean Nuclear Weapons Program 55

Murder in me Demilitarized Zone 59

4 The Carter Chill 67

Carter's Withdrawal: Origins and Implementation 68

The View from Pyongyang 75

End of the Carter Withdrawal 80

5 Assassination and Aftermath 87

Growing Domestic Tensions 89

The Coming of Chun Doo Hwan 92

The Kwangju Uprising 98

The Fight to Save Kim Dae Jung 105

6 Terror and Talk 109

The Negotiating Track 112

Floods and Face-to-Face Talks 115

Kim II Sung and the Soviet Connection 119

7 The Battle for Democracy in Seoul 126

Chun's Succession Struggle 126

The Election of 1987 135

8 The Great Olympic Coming-Out Party 140

The Coming of the Olympics 140

The Bombing of KAL Flight 858 144

The Rise of Nordpolitik 146

Washington Launches a Modest Initiative 150

9 Moscow Switches Sides 154

The Roots of Change 156

Gorbachev Meets Roh 159

The Shevardnadze Mission 165

"How Long Will the Red Flag Fly?" 169

Soviet-South Korean Economic Negotiations 175

10 China Shifts its Ground 178

A Visit to North Korea 180

China Changes Course 186

11 Joining the Nuclear Issue 194

The Origins of the Nuclear Program 196

Nuclear Diplomacy: The American Weapons 198

First Steps 200

The December Accords 203

Meeting in New York 207

The Coming of the Inspectors 208

First Inspections 209

From Accommodation to Crisis 212

12 Withdrawal and Engagement 219

The Light-Water-Reactor Plan 224

Kim Young Sam Blows the Whistle 228

The Season of Crisis Begins 232

13 Showdown Over Nuclear Weapons 239

The Defueling Crisis 240

The Military Track 244

The Deepening Conflict 248

Carter in Pyongyang 256

14 Death and Accord 265

The End of an Era 268

The Succession of Kim Jong Il 271

The Framework Negotiations 274

Fallout from the Agreed Framework 280

The Kim Jong Il Regime 281

Visit to Pyongyang 283

The Struggle over the Reactors 285

15 North Korea in Crisis 289

Political Earthquake in Seoul 295

Summit Diplomacy and the Four-Party Proposal 299

The Submarine Incursion 302

North Korea's Steep Decline 308

The Passage of Hwang Jang Yop 312

The Two Koreas in Time of Trouble 316

16 Turn Toward Engagement 319

Into the Heavens, Under the Earth 319

Toward an Aid-Based State 323

Perry to the Rescue 326

Toward the June Summit 330

Summit in Pyongyang 335

Engaging the United States 340

17 The End of the Agreed Framework 347

A Rocky Start 350

The Impact of 9/11 356

Threads Come Together: Japan-North Korea Talks 359

Slouching Toward the Cliff 362

Kim Jong Il's Progress 364

The Unquiet Americans 366

The Morning After 372

18 Trouble in the Us-Rok Alliance 381

Problems for Diplomacy 382

Sunshine, Barely 385

Tensions Rise 392

The Six-Party Mirage 395

Nuclear Peek-a-Boo 398

A Year of Zigzags 400

The End of KEDO 411

Traction, at Last 413

Rumble in Punggye 416

19 The Emperor's New Clothes 419

Signs of Succession 424

Diplomatic Downturn 427

A Terrible Start 431

Clinton's Visit 435

Turning to the South 437

A Second North-South Summit, but Not a Third 439

Secret Talks, Public Clashes 443

The Rise of Chinese Influence 446

Rare Backlash 449

Yeonpyeong Island 451

Kim Jong Il's Death and Beyond 452

The New Look 456

Afterword 457

The Great Leadership Divide 457

New Heights 459

The Chinese Shadow 463

An Uneasy Peace 464

Principal Korean Figures in the Text 465

Acknowledgments 467

Notes and Sources 473

Index 505

Photographs follow page 264

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