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The Asian side of the world - II

Jean-François Sabouret

Part One. Regional dynamics and globalization

Inter-Korean tensions: ideology first, at any cost?

Alain Nass

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Extrait du texte

October 2011

2010 was the worst year of inter-Korean confrontation for decades. Human losses were heavy in the south, with about 50 military and civilian victims after two major incidents in the West Sea: a ship of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy was sunk by an undetected action attributed to the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), which then poured artillery shells on Yongpyeong Island. The result of the ROK military response is not known.

The reasons for these events, which have had long-lasting effects on inter-Korean relations, reflect the reciprocal choice for firmness and confrontation made in 2008 and the difficulty of getting out of the spiral of violence dominated by ideological confrontation. As Pyongyang wants to make 2012 the year of consolidation of its regime and a presidential election is to be held in the south, will there be a move towards negotiation and easing of relations or aggravation of the tensions?

The rising crisis

In early 2008, a new conservative administra...

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