Towards a Northeast Asian Security Community

Part of the series The Political Economy of the Asia Pacific pp 239-258


An Institutional Approach to Peace and Prosperity: Toward a Korean Fisheries Community

  • Martyn de BruynAffiliated withNortheastern Illinois University Email author 
  • , Sangmin BaeAffiliated withNortheastern Illinois University

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The divided Koreas are considered an abnormal security hazard for Northeast Asia. They are still at war since the 1950–1953 conflict as the 1953 armistice was never followed by a peace treaty. At the same time, the Korean peninsula has a sensitive and geostrategic role in the region, surrounded by major powers pursuing their respective interests. In such a condition, the status quo has proven resilient for more than 45 years until the 1990s. Change occurred internally with the democratic transition and unification movement in the South and ongoing economic and political difficulties in the North and externally with the end of the Cold War and the euphoria over “the end of history.” These series of events encouraged social and political discussions over the possibility of Korean unification. In September 1991, both the Koreas simultaneously entered the United Nations. In December 1991, they signed “the Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression, and Exchanges, and Cooperation.”