2019 年 2019 巻 195 号 p. 195_11-195_26
This article discusses how South Korea’s “cross-recognition” policy influenced the political structure of Northeast Asia during the 1980’s. The “cross-recognition” means that China and the Soviet Union would recognize South Korea in exchange for the United States and Japan recognizing North Korea. With the recent release of official documents from South Korea, Japan and Russia, etc., it has become possible to analyze this subject in more details.
To answer the question stated above, this article especially focuses on the foreign policies that South Korea tried to implement with Japan, China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, and the United States from 1983 to 1987 under the Chun Doo-Hwan Administration.
Many previous studies discussing the transformation of the Cold War structure in Northeast Asia paid to attention to the Northeast Asian history following the Seoul Olympics of 1988. In contrast, this study points out the importance of historical events that occurred from 1983 to 1987. Moreover, after analyzing multilateral relationships among Northeast Asian countries, it highlights that the beginning of the change in the Cold War structure in Northeast Asia can be linked the events in 1986.
South Korea tried to improve relations with China through the Japanese prime minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, from 1983 to 1986. South Korea aimed to establish its position in the international society through the 86’ Asian Games and the 88’ Seoul Olympics. For the success of these athletic meetings, South Korea viewed the participation of China and the Soviet Union necessary. In 1984, therefore, the South Korean government pursued concrete measures towards successful cross-recognition.
First, Chun Doo-Hwan asked Nakasone to serve as an intermediary vis-a-vis China. China made informal contacts with South Korea. In turn, North Korea was threatened by South Korea’s developing relationship with China, thus tried to strengthen its ties with the Soviet Union. Two international dynamics emerged in Northeast Asia consequently. One was the trend toward closer relations among South Korea, Japan, China and the United States. The other was the development of a more intimate relationship between the Soviet Union and North Korea.
However, M. Gorbachev, the then Soviet Union leader, began to implement a new form of diplomacy toward China and South Korea starting from the end of 1985 to the middle of 1986. As a result, North Korea’s isolation in Northeast Asia became more serious by the end of 1987.
In general, when considering the transformation of the Cold War structure in Northeast Asia, one tends to emphasize the role of Gorbachev. However, this study points out that the new Chinese diplomacy, which had begun before Gorbachev’s new diplomacy, also played a similarly important role in the transformation of the structure.