In our 2016 book “The New Global Order” we extrapolated how the world order has evolved over the centuries and how the thirst for natural resources and trade has virtually defined international relations. Resources and trade have been the two common denominators of empires from the British Empire to the Spanish, the Japanese or the Americans. The quest for trade and resources is also what defined The East India Company’s expeditions in Asia and Africa much like China today.
China’s rise and the resultant growing bipolarity have made the Korean Peninsula the centrepiece of the geopolitical chessboard. The Korean Peninsula’s location in China’s backyard makes it unique and inspired Asian Warrior to unravel the tangles of the ancient Hermit Kingdom. What makes North Korea so unique and why is the Korean Peninsula critical for China and the US? The book: “Korean Peninsula, A Pawn on the Geopolitical Chessboard” is an endeavour to decipher the above and offers a different perspective to uncover the various mysteries that lie beneath the surface of the Korean Peninsula.
The innumerable reflections of the past have shaped the present policies of the Korean landscape and our book first takes the reader back in time to understand the environment and mindset of the peninsula from its formative years to the present day where South Korea has developed into a technological powerhouse and North Korea, a part of the “Axis of Evil” that threatens global peace and security.
It is essential to understand the psychology of the Korean people and the regime in North Korea to foresee what is possible in the realm of reality. Behind the veil of the Hermit Kingdom and the characterizations of Axis of Evil; very little is known about North Korea to the world along with how the regime operates. Our book attempts to uncover much of the nexus between North Korea and other countries cited as part of the Axis of Evil.
While on one side of the peninsula is North Korea, a rogue state; on the other is its estranged brother South Korea which was characterized by China’s Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Yuhan Zhang as “Chao Xian” which means “The Land of Morning Calm”. This characterization fits South Korea perfectly as it boasts of a spell binding natural beauty, picturesque high mountains and clear waters; and is an island of peace and tranquillity in a region dominated by dictators, autocrats and erstwhile empires. It is hence worth asking why and how South Korea pursued a different journey on the path of a globally connected prosperous nation in stark contrast to its estranged brother in the north. This dichotomy between North and South Korea only adds further enigma to the dispute of the Korean Peninsula.
The summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on July 12, 2018 in Singapore is a historic moment that could well transform the geopolitics in Northeast Asia. From “Fire and Fury” to “Honourable Kim”, a lot of ground has been covered showcasing how all tools must be readily deployed in the quest for peace with diplomacy being primary. The dialogue between the Trump administration and the North Korean regime essentially revolves around Denuclearization. But what is Denuclearization? What does North Korea expect of America? And what are realistic goals of the US in pursuing an all or nothing strategy? These are some of the questions which we have also attempted to explain.
Further, the question of Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is not an isolated one but comes with the heavy baggage of identity crisis and betrayals that have defined what Korea is today. Our book explains the changing dynamics on the Korean Peninsula across the centuries which have shaped its foreign policy and how the Korean people perceive the world. Every country has a civilizational value that binds it together and it thus begs the question, what binds the North and South Korean people together now? They are separated by decades of division and societal and cultural dilution. We have also laid out the various hypotheses that could emerge in Asia-Pacific as the global powers mediate to diffuse the ongoing Korean crisis.
“Korean Peninsula, A Pawn on the Geopolitical Chessboard” is a comprehensive effort in uncovering the various facets of the disputes in the Korean Peninsula and showcases how trade and the quest of natural resources over the last few centuries have defined the fate of peninsula and the Korean culture.
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