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Foreign Relations of the Two Koreas in 2012

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Chapter Summary

Republic of Korea (ROK-South Korea) President Lee Myung-bak continued the active commitment to good relations with the United States (US) that had been a characteristic feature of his presidency. Relations with China were up and down. China is a major neighbour and an important regional power. History continued to complicate ROK-Japan relations all through the year. The vast international media frenzy that marked the death of Kim Jong Il and the coming to power of Kim Jong Un in December 2011 quickly faded away once it became clear that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK-North Korea) was not on the point of instant collapse and that there was to be no obvious objection to the new arrangements in place. The US, like other Western countries, has been reluctant to accept North Korean refugees as permanent settlers. It is hard to overlook the massive influence China has on the DPRK.

Keywords: China; Democratic People's Republicof Korea (DPRK); Japan; Kim Jong II; Kim Jong Un; Lee Myung-bak; Republic of Korea (ROK); United States (US)



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