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Title: Crisis management on the Korean peninsula : South Korea's crisis management towards North Korea within the context of the South Korean-U.S. alliance, 1968-1983.
Author: Yoon, Tae-Young.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3575 4468
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis examines South Korea's crisis management towards North Korea within the context of the South Korea-U.S. alliance with particular emphasis on the three crises from 1968 to 1983: (1) the 1968 Blue House raid / Pueblo incident; (2) the 1976 Panmunjom axe murder incident; and (3) the 1983 Rangoon bombing incident. For an analytical framework, five factors have been selected from a broad survey of theoretical and case-study literature on crisis management as those that are most helpful in understanding the particular crisis management processes and tasks that confronted the ROK: (1) crisis objectives; (2) crisis management strategies; (3) images of North Korea's intentions and crisis dynamics; (4) bargaining with the V.S.; and (5) characteristics of the crisis management system. Moreover, it seeks to identify lessons learned from the management of each Korean crisis. Examining each case within a common analytical framework, this study seeks to identify the central nature of South Korea's dilemmas, efforts, and problems in crisis management towards North Korea within the context of the ROK-V.S. alliance. The main findings of this thesis are: (1) South Korean leaders experienced not only the fundamental policy dilemma of crisis management towards North Korea, but also the dilemma of bargaining with the V.S. within the context of the ROK-U.S. alliance; (2) South Korea limited both its crisis objectives and the means to be employed. South Korean military moves to signal firm resolution were largely co-ordinated with and made consistent with political objectives and diplomatic actions; (3) South Korea's major crisis management strategies were designed to deter or dissuade North Korea from escalating towards stronger action, preserve its reputation for firmness, and increase North Korea's estimate of the net costs of escalation and war; (4) within the restraints of credible military capabilities and limited operational control over its own armed forces, South Korea tried to manipulate the V.S. in order to extract military and political support to create the most favourable conditions for crisis management. However, the V.S. resolve and its willingness to support South Korea could have contributed to escalation through South Korea's exploitation and misjudgement; (5) the South Korean leaders' image of crisis dynamics directly affected their crisis management behaviour, including their choices of crisis objectives and crisis management strategies, and bargaining tactics with the V.S.; (6) chronic problems of crisis management within the alliance context occurred as a result of asymmetries in the balance of interests and different perceptions of threat and crisis. As for the implications of the ROK-V.S. joint crisis management system, this system restrained South Korea from taking independent crisis action and limited South Korea's choice of crisis options, but helped South Korea to lock V.S. forces into these Korean crises and enabled it to use America's massive military power in an effort to strengthen its own and the joint deterrent posture and thereby to coerce North Korea during crises; and (7) South Korea's lack of a central crisis management organisation and independent intelligence collection capability were critical problems in effective crisis management. On the whole, within the context of the alliance, the capacity of South Korea to manage crises short of war on the Korean peninsula depended as much on influencing the behaviour of the U.S. as it did on controlling the behaviour of North Korea. South Korea has worked effectively with the U.S. to build a strong alliance that has confronted North Korea and persuaded it to draw back from crises. Moreover, it has been fully involved in the vital crisis management process of limiting risks by moderating its own crisis objectives and crisis behaviour. It has also done this through the process of making measured and balanced judgements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science