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Relations Between The Two Koreas In 2008

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Chapter Summary

2008 saw a major reversal in relations between the two Koreas. As far as the Republic of Korea (ROK) elections were concerned, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) media did not ignore them but there was hardly any comment on Lee or his proposed policies. Lee said that he wanted to continue engagement with the North but he had made it clear that there would be major changes in his government's handling of relations. To some commentators both in the ROK and abroad, the developments indicated the emergence of a hard-line group within the DPRK leadership, and especially the increasing importance of the military, which seemed very evident in the handling of developments at Mt Kŭmgang and Kaesŏng. Non-governmental contacts are likely to continue, despite some attempts by the ROK government to curtail visits of large groups of its citizens to North Korea.

Keywords: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK); Kŭmgang; Kaesŏng; Republic of Korea (ROK)



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