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Issues & Insights Vol. 13 – No. 9 – Rowing Together: A Chinese Perspective

The most conspicuous phenomenon that characterizes Northeast Asia today is the entanglement of geo-politics and geo-economics, or, put another way, the interactions between security and economics. On the one hand, the region can by no means resist the dynamic forces of the twin trends of globalization and regionalization and detach itself from the rest of the world. On the other hand, the relics of the Cold War remain and linger menacingly in this part of the world. The Korean Peninsula continues to be a heavily armed area and there is a worrying trend for further development of nuclear programs as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) carried out a third test in February 2013, following its provocative rocket launch last December, ignoring the wishes and warnings from the international community. The “9/19” joint statement of the Six-Party Talks, in which the parties agreed to take substantive steps for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and other related objectives, remains a good deal, yet the talks have been stalled since the end of 2008. Pyongyang’s political relations with Washington and Tokyo are still in limbo and have yet to be normalized. However, these are part of a broader picture. Regional dynamics are changing and they are reshaping the regional landscape as well as the various relationships.