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Vol. 38-3 (December 2023) Navigating Geopolitical Change in Northeast Asia: A Realist Approach to Analyze the Matrix Scenario of US-China Conflict and US–North Korea Relations (Kyung-tae Min)


This article examines the intricate dynamics of US-China and US–North Korea relations, focusing on the strategic competition between the United States and China. Drawing upon the realist theories of Kissinger and Mearsheimer, the study delves into how various intensities of US-China conflict might influence North Korea's strategic value and the prospects for improved US–North Korea relations. The research underscores that escalating US-China competition could reshape the geopolitical landscape in Northeast Asia, paving the way for new strategic alignments and partnerships. Four distinct scenarios are presented, each reflecting a different intensity of US-China conflict and the ensuing reactions from both North Korea and the USA. The analysis suggests that the most probable scenario entails an intensifying US-China rivalry, which correspondingly elevates North Korea's strategic significance. Such a turn of events would necessitate a shift in US strategy – from isolating North Korea to forging more favorable geopolitical conditions. Potential strategies might include reducing North Korea's reliance on China, disrupting the alignment between China, Russia, and North Korea, or even contemplating the integration of Pyongyang into the US security framework. These strategic adjustments could reshape the power dynamics and address regional challenges in Northeast Asia, promoting peace and stability and safeguarding the nation's core interests.

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Pacific Focus - 2023 - - Issue Information (5).pdf

k2web.next.record Vol. 38-3 (December 2023) Under What Conditions Would South Korea Go Nuclear? Seoul's Strategic Choice on Nuclear Weapons (Min-hyung Kim)
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