Edited by Christopher M. Dent
Chapter 12: A Shrimp Among the Whales? Korea in the Northeast and East Asia Regional System
12. A shrimp among the whales? Korea in the Northeast and East Asia regional system Christoph Bluth and Christopher M. Dent 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter examines both the security and international political economy dimensions of Korea’s key position in the Northeast and East Asia regional system. For more than a century, Korea has been the focus of the geopolitical struggle between the Asia Paciﬁc major powers, Russia, China, Japan and the United States. According to an old Korean saying, ‘a shrimp gets crushed to death in the ﬁght between the whales’. As a small nation on the geopolitical fault-lines of Northeast Asia, Korea has suﬀered foreign occupation, devastating wars and division. The Korean Peninsula remains a critical factor in the future of the region. It is the one place in Northeast Asia where there continues to exist a serious threat of large-scale military conﬂict. At the same time, South Korea has some considerable status in the regional political economy of East Asia. It is the region’s third largest economy, one of its most advanced industrial states, has large conglomerated companies (the chaebol, such as Samsung) with considerable global reach and presence, and one of the world’s most skilled and educated workforces. New and dynamic developments in East Asian regionalism have provided South Korea with opportunities to exploit its middle power position in Northeast and East Asia, as well as act as an intermediary between Japan and China, especially in Northeast Asia’s emerging trilateral cooperation framework. While South...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.