East Asian Languages and Cultures | Topics in East Asian Studies: Understanding Two Koreas
E505 | 13938 | Jung, H

This section is for graduates only
3 credits
Course description
As the staging-ground for the collision between the great powers, the
Korean peninsula has been a pivotal geopolitical area in modern
history. Since the creation of a diplomatic relationship with the
Korean kingdom in 1882, the United States has been long and deeply
involved in the historical changes that influenced the fate of Korea
as a country. With the end of the Cold War and the new threat of North
Korea’s nuclear ambition, the US involvement in the foreign policy
decisions of the Korean peninsula is far more critical today than in
the past.

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the
complexities of US relations with two Koreas. This will involve
surveying the historical background and examining the key issues and
challenges the countries face today. Is the US responsible for the
division of Korea and the delayed democratization in South Korea? Can
the US-South Korean military alliance survive another fifty years?
Despite military threats from the North, why have South Koreans become
increasingly critical of US policy? Is “regime change” the best way
for the US to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis and make the
country safer from terrorism? Will North Korea disappear in the near
future? Using the perspectives of the US and the two Koreas, this
course explores these topics to gauge the undercurrents that affect
US-Korean relations.

Requirements will include a midterm and a final exam, short response
papers, a film review essay, class attendance, and participation. No
previous background on Korea is required.