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Republic of Korea’s Sunshine Policy: The sweeping fall in support for the Sunshine Policy and the role of the Ministry of Unification during the tumultuous Sunshine years

Axelblom, Alec (2017) ACET35
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Abstract
This thesis aimed to discover the underlying causes for the drastic loss in support for the Sunshine Policy and the role of the Ministry of Unification throughout its duration. The Sunshine Policy was a new approach to inter-Korean relations by the progressives in South Korea which, despite initially strong support, would eventually become disfavoured among large parts of the population. An established foreign policy alternative under Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, the Sunshine Policy may be resumed by newly elected President Moon Jae-in as well as with future presidents. During the Sunshine period the Ministry of Unification played a central role in policymaking, however its function is understudied. The understanding of the loss in... (More)
This thesis aimed to discover the underlying causes for the drastic loss in support for the Sunshine Policy and the role of the Ministry of Unification throughout its duration. The Sunshine Policy was a new approach to inter-Korean relations by the progressives in South Korea which, despite initially strong support, would eventually become disfavoured among large parts of the population. An established foreign policy alternative under Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, the Sunshine Policy may be resumed by newly elected President Moon Jae-in as well as with future presidents. During the Sunshine period the Ministry of Unification played a central role in policymaking, however its function is understudied. The understanding of the loss in support over time would serve to explain the shifting roles of the ministry. This paper concentrates on a multitude of factors that explain why the policy lost support, such as the role of the opposition, North Korean behaviour, the US, and the domestic media. This paper looks at how changes in support for the Sunshine Policy, the 2003 transfer of power to Roh, and the role of the minister himself, all play into how the function of the Ministry changed.

The research revealed that in a complicated process the analysed factors decreased the support of the policy, all factors being intertwined as each factor strengthened the effect that the other factors had, with the role of the behaviour of North Korea having the largest impact. My findings also show that the Ministry of Unification had a larger presence in the later administration, partially due to personal policymaking decisions by Roh. Furthermore, the analysis finds that the Roh administration inadequately prepared the Ministry or the new reshaped policy for the realities of inter-Korean relations. (Less)
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author
Axelblom, Alec
supervisor
organization
course
ACET35
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Sunshine policy, Inter-Korean relations, South korea, North korea, Ministry of unification, Public support
language
English
id
8922967
date added to LUP
2017-08-16 08:40:03
date last changed
2017-08-16 08:40:03
@misc{8922967,
  abstract     = {This thesis aimed to discover the underlying causes for the drastic loss in support for the Sunshine Policy and the role of the Ministry of Unification throughout its duration. The Sunshine Policy was a new approach to inter-Korean relations by the progressives in South Korea which, despite initially strong support, would eventually become disfavoured among large parts of the population. An established foreign policy alternative under Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, the Sunshine Policy may be resumed by newly elected President Moon Jae-in as well as with future presidents. During the Sunshine period the Ministry of Unification played a central role in policymaking, however its function is understudied. The understanding of the loss in support over time would serve to explain the shifting roles of the ministry. This paper concentrates on a multitude of factors that explain why the policy lost support, such as the role of the opposition, North Korean behaviour, the US, and the domestic media. This paper looks at how changes in support for the Sunshine Policy, the 2003 transfer of power to Roh, and the role of the minister himself, all play into how the function of the Ministry changed.

The research revealed that in a complicated process the analysed factors decreased the support of the policy, all factors being intertwined as each factor strengthened the effect that the other factors had, with the role of the behaviour of North Korea having the largest impact. My findings also show that the Ministry of Unification had a larger presence in the later administration, partially due to personal policymaking decisions by Roh. Furthermore, the analysis finds that the Roh administration inadequately prepared the Ministry or the new reshaped policy for the realities of inter-Korean relations.},
  author       = {Axelblom, Alec},
  keyword      = {Sunshine policy,Inter-Korean relations,South korea,North korea,Ministry of unification,Public support},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Republic of Korea’s Sunshine Policy: The sweeping fall in support for the Sunshine Policy and the role of the Ministry of Unification during the tumultuous Sunshine years},
  year         = {2017},
}