The U.S. Embassy in Seoul sent this cable to the State Department on February 18, 2010. It summarizes what Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell learned from meetings with South Korean leaders and experts about the possibilities of succession in North Korea.
The U.S. embassy in Seoul sent this cable to the State Department on February 5, 2009, regarding attitudes and responses in South Korea to North Korean statements against past agreements.
South Korean President Roh Tae Woo spoke to the UN General Assembly on October 18, 1988, regarding Agenda Item 146: Promotion of Peace, Reconciliation, and Dialogue in the Korean Peninsula.
The United States and South Korea (Republic of Korea, or ROK) signed the Mutual Defense Treaty on October 1, 1953, and it went into force in 1954. The United States agreed to defend South Korea against future attacks by North Korea.
This armistice signaled the end of hostilities in the Korean peninsula until a final peace agreement can be found and it established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It was signed on July 27, 1953, by U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison representing the United Nations Command, and North Korean General Nam Il, representing both the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers. Several times, North Korea has stated it no longer recognizes the agreement, in 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013.
The Korean peninsula remains one of the most heavily armed and dangerous places in the world. Despite its deteriorating economy, North Korea retains a standing army of over one million men and an enormous arsenal of artillery and missiles, most of them as close to Seoul, the South Korean capital, as Dulles Airport is to downtown Washington, DC. In 1994, the United States and North Korea almost went to war over the North’s nuclear program. Since then, Washington and Seoul have attempted to cap North Korea’s nuclear ambitions through the Agreed Framework, but the threat from the North remains.
These teaching notes, by CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Scott A. Snyder, feature discussion questions and additional projects for educators to supplement the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, U.S. Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula. In this report, a bipartisan group of eminent leaders in the fields of defense policy, weapons of mass destruction, human rights, and academia discuss their consensus on these issues and provide a range of recommendations for U.S. policy toward North and South Korea.
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