Nearly half a century after the fighting stopped, the 1953
Armistice has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty formally
ending the Korean War. While Russia and China withdrew the last of
their forces in 1958, the United States maintains 37,000 troops in
South Korea and is pledged to defend it with nuclear weapons. In
"Korean Endgame," Selig Harrison mounts the first authoritative
challenge to this long-standing U.S. policy.
Harrison shows why North Korea is not--as many policymakers
expect--about to collapse. And he explains why existing U.S.
policies hamper North-South reconciliation and reunification.
Assessing North Korean capabilities and the motivations that have
led to its forward deployments, he spells out the arms control
concessions by North Korea, South Korea, and the United States
necessary to ease the dangers of confrontation, centering on
reciprocal U.S. force redeployments and U.S. withdrawals in return
for North Korean pullbacks from the thirty-eighth parallel.
Similarly, he proposes specific trade-offs to forestall the
North's development of nuclear weapons and missile delivery
systems, calling for the withdrawal of the U.S. nuclear umbrella in
conjunction with agreements to denuclearize Korea embracing China,
Russia, and Japan. The long-term goal of U.S. policy, he argues,
should be the full disengagement of U.S. combat forces from Korea
as part of regional agreements insulating the peninsula from all
foreign conventional and nuclear forces.
A veteran journalist with decades of extensive firsthand
knowledge of North Korea and long-standing contacts with leaders in
Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang, Harrison is perfectly placed to
make these arguments. Throughout, he supports his analysis with
revealing accounts of conversations with North Korean, South
Korean, and U.S. leaders over thirty-five years. Combining probing
scholarship with a seasoned reporter's on-the-ground experience and
insights, he has given us the definitive book on U.S. policy in
Korea--past, present, and future.
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