Digital National Security Archive: New Collection – The United States and the Two Koreas, 1969-2000

A new collection has been added to the Digital National Security Archive: The United States and the Two Koreas, 1969-2000.

From the DNSA announcement:

This new collection is a curated set of recently declassified records documenting the history of US policy toward and relations with South and North Korea from the Nixon to the Clinton administrations. The records cover a wide range of issues, including foreign policy, defense policy, economic and trade relations, and intelligence assessments. Documents were secured primarily through FOIA and Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) requests and archival research, focusing on National Security Council records held by the Nixon Presidential Project at the National Archives (NARA) (now housed at the Nixon Presidential Library).

Research Value of the Set

The divided Korean peninsula represents the critical remaining unresolved legacy of the Cold War. As US and South Korean forces monitor the still-tense Demilitarized Zone, the potential for renewed conflict and the hope for a final peace continue to present significant political and security challenges for American policy. This set is compiled from the latest records declassified and released by the US government, and provides documentation on a broad spectrum of the policy issues confronting the US on the Korean peninsula between 1969 and 2000.

This collection, gathered from the major agencies concerned with the management of US-Korean relations, will permit scholars to refer directly to primary documents of central importance in researching these events and issues, including but not limited to policy reviews, internal assessments of various aspects of North and South Korea’s foreign, military, and economic policies, and intelligence reports, as well as memoranda of conversation and diplomatic cables that provide an intimate view of the dynamics of the US-South Korean relationship. Thus, the documents will be of great relevance to scholars in a variety of fields, including:

    * US-South Korea relations
    * US-North Korea relations
    * Korean peninsula studies
    * US-Asia policy
    * East Asia area studies
    * Security studies
    * International relations
    * International economic policy
    * US policy making
    * The Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton presidencies

Among these key issues are the security threat posed by North Korea, including the emergence of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs in the 1990s and multilateral efforts to engage the regime in negotiations to halt these programs and work towards a permanent peace treaty; the US military presence in South Korea; America’s role in the troubled political history of South Korea, from the authoritarian regime of assassinated President Park Chung Hee through the 1979 military coup that brought Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo to power in the 1980s, to the political reforms that led long-time dissident leaders Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung to the presidency in the 1990s; the impact of the Asian Economic Crisis on South Korea; and assessments of North Korea’s economic situation and prospects for the North Korean communist regime in the 1990s, both before and after the death of Kim Il Sung.

For a scholarly overview of this collection, Robert A Wampler, PhD, Korea Project Director, has provided an essay on the live site at:

Access is available for Oxford users via OxLIP+ (log in for remote access).

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