Trends on the Korean peninsula and Soviet policy toward Korea: implications for U.S.-Japan relations

by Norman D. Levin

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Three recent developments on the Korean Peninsula are noteworthy: South Korea's successful transition to a more democratic government, South Korea's continuing strong economy, and North Korea's growing domestic and foreign policy difficulties. For these and other reasons, including better relations between China and South Korea, Soviet-North Korean relations have recently improved. Although the future of the Korean Peninsula is difficult to read, the author describes the three principal schools of thought on this subject and believes there will be more Soviet intervention under Mikhail Gorbachev. The author concludes by urging further solidification of the relationship among the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

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