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North Korea Policy in South Korea's 2012 Election

Candidates' North Korea Policies

Ahn Cheol-soo, "A Plan for Peace and Joint Prosperity on the Korean Peninsula," November 8, 2012.

In this press release, the independent Presidential candidate, who withdrew from the race on November 23, emphasizes the need to improve North-South communications, build a national consensus on North Korea policy, expand regional economic engagement, and simultaneously work toward inter-Korean dialogue, denuclearization, and a peace regime.

Moon Jae-in, "Initiative for an Inter-Korean Economic Union," August 17, 2012.

The Democratic United Party's candidate gives a detailed proposal for inter-Korean and regional economic engagement, as well as his plans for denuclearization and a peace regime, in this speech.

Park Geun-hye, "Trustpolitik and the Making of a New Korea," November 15, 2012. (Translation from the Peterson Institute.)

In this speech, the Saenuri Party's candidate discusses the need for trust-building on the Peninsula, outlining several proposals for new multilateral and inter-Korean initiatives while emphasizing the need for a strong deterrent against North Korean provocations.

Analysis and Commentary

Thomas C. Hubbard, "U.S.-Korea Relations: Let's Maintain the High Standard," October 30, 2012.

Hubbard, writing for The Peninsula, offers his thoughts on maintaining a strong U.S.-ROK relationship during political transitions in both countries, recommending that both countries prepare well for high-level summits and avoid imposing litmus tests to each other.

Rep. Ed Royce, "Sunshine on North Korea Again?" October 2, 2012

Representative Ed Royce, who is favored to become the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the next Congress, writes in his blog that "no matter who wins [the election], it seems that Seoul's North Korea policy will take an unfortunate U-turn."

L. Gordon Flake, "Where the Center Holds: The 2012 Election in South Korea and U.S.-ROK Relations," September 2012.

In this Council on Foreign Relations report, Flake argues that South Korea's left and right are both gravitating toward the political center, and that a more moderate South Korean approach to the North after the election may prove a challenge for U.S.-ROK relations.

Gi-Wook Shin, "The Election that Could Alter South Korea's Politics," September 2012.

Writing in Current History, Shin analyzes South Korea's political dynamics in the run-up to the election, and outlines the difficult tasks awaiting South Korea's next president.

North Korean Statements

KCNA, "S. Korean Conservatives Denounced for Talking about "North's Interference in Presidential Election,"" November 28, 2012.

This article denies North Korean interference in the election, and states that "the DPRK is not concerned about who becomes "president" in south Korea," but that "what the DPRK is concerned about is not who will be the "president-elect" but whether he or she intends to improve the inter-Korean ties. This is the deserved right of the DPRK as the main force responsible for the north-south relations." 

KCNA, "News Analyst Sheds Light on U.S. Involvement in Successive "Presidential Elections" in S. Korea," November 27, 2012. 

 This article accuses the U.S. of "stretching out its dark tentacles to the 18th-term "presidential election" due in south Korea in coming December."