This paper suggests that an examination of the discourse and rhetoric of the George W. Bush administration offers a more comprehensive understanding of the developments that occurred during the years of South Korea’s Sunshine policy (1998-2008). Such an approach supplements the traditional neorealist perspective and helps to account for the direction of certain policies. The paper argues that in its inter-Korean discourse, the Bush administration framed South Korea as an ally and partner against North Korea, while imagining the North as part of the “axis of evil” and a threat to international security. Since the US occupies an essential role in inter-Korean affairs, its framing of North and South Korea as unalterable opposites impeded inter-Korean reconciliation under the Sunshine policy. Rhetoric from two events will illustrate this point – the 2001 US-South Korea summit and the 2004 US Presidential Elections campaign.
East Asia and Asia Pacific / International Politics and Security / Working Papers
Last updated on 01/07/2014