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A Troubled Peace

, 376 pages

1 map

February 2006



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A Troubled Peace

U.S. Policy and the Two Koreas

In A Troubled Peace, Professor Chae-Jin Lee reviews the vicissitudes of U.S. policy toward South and North Korea since 1948 when rival regimes were installed on the Korean peninsula. He explains the continuously changing nature of U.S.-Korea relations by discussing the goals the United States has sought for Korea, the ways in which these goals have been articulated, and the methods used to implement them.

Using a careful analysis of declassified diplomatic documents, primary materials in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, and extensive interviews with American and Korean officials, Lee draws attention to a number of factors that have affected U.S. policy: the functions of U.S. security policy in Korea, the role of the United States in South Korea's political democratization, President Clinton's policy of constructive engagement toward North Korea, President Bush's hegemonic policy toward North Korea, and the hexagonal linkages among the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and the two Koreas.

Drawing on concepts of containment, deterrence, engagement, preemption, and appeasement, Lee's balanced and thoughtful approach reveals the frustrations of all players in their attempts to arrive at a modicum of coexistence. His objective, comprehensive, and definitive study reveals a dynamic—and incredibly complex—series of relationships underpinning a troubled and tenuous peace.

Chae-Jin Lee is the BankAmerica Professor of Pacific Basin Studies and director of the Keck Center of International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.

"Any collection which includes details on Korean history will find essential to the fold the addition of A Troubled Peace: U.S. Policy and the Two Koreas."

"Lee provides an excellent study of foreign policy-making in a region vital to American interests... This volume will serve as a valuable resource for scholars of American foreign policy and contemporary Korean history."

"One of the best two or three books on Korea's international relations in the English language and should be of great interest to a wide range of scholars and general readers."

"A valuable study."