The Foreign Policy Systems of North and South Korea

By Byung Chul Koh | Go to book overview

3
OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT: EXTERNAL SETTING

A towering feature of the operational environment of the two Koreas is the presence of four of the world's great powers, including the two superpowers. This striking fact contributes appreciably to the blurring of conceptual distinctions between the global system and the regional system, two of the three components of the external setting of the operational environment. For, by virtue of their global influence, the four powers also play the dominant role in the Northeast Asian regional system. Hence, to sketch the contours of the global system is to delineate the most salient features of the regional system as well.


THE GLOBAL SYSTEM

Our purpose in this section is not to provide a comprehensive review of major changes in the global system during the past three decades but to note those aspects of change which appear to have special relevance for Korea. They are (1) the emergence of multiple centers of power, (2) the "alignment of the nonaligned," (3) détente among great powers in the decade of 1970s, and (4) the growing recognition of the interdependence of nation states, large and small. It is plain that these are overlapping and interconnected themes.

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