“The Korean Peninsula and the Struggle between World Powers” (talk)

ICAS Winter Symposium

Humanity, Peace and Security

Dirksen Building SD-226  B

Washington D.C.

12:30-4:30 pm

February 24, 2005

The Korean Peninsula and the Struggle between World Powers

100 Years after the Taft-Katsura Agreement and the Portsmouth Treaty

Opening Remarks

Any serious attempt to achieve a lasting and effective resolution to the economic and security issues of the Korean peninsula must perforce address the perceptions and beliefs of the Korean people themselves. Unfortunately, we Americans find ourselves making decisions regarding the future of the Korean peninsula without any sense of the historical context surrounding the present standoff with North Korea. Nor do we grasp the historical events long before the present day that have determined Korean attitudes towards the United States. This paper does not focus on the negotiations with North Korea that have gone on since 1994. Rather it considers the decisive first encounters between the United States and Korea in the nineteenth and early twentieth century and goes on to present a comparison between the geo-political issues critical in the present day and those critical one hundred years ago in the hope that some larger issues normally not treated in an analysis of security issues may be broached.


Pastreich ICAS Talk Feb. 17, 2005

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