The Foreign Policy Systems of North and South Korea

By Byung Chul Koh | Go to book overview

10
IMPACT OF FOREIGN POLICY

Thus far we have examined the sources of the foreign policies of the two Koreas, aspects of their decision-making processes, and their outputs in the form of strategic, operational, and tactical decisions. No picture of foreign policy is complete, however, without some delineation of the actual consequences of foreign policy decisions. What impact, if any, do these decisions have on the operational and psychological environment? To what extent do anticipated consequences materialize? What are some of the major unanticipated consequences? Is there a net balance of gains over losses?

Despite their obvious importance, these questions are not easy to answer. The main difficulty has to do with the establishment of causal nexuses. Barring a controlled experiment, it is all but impossible to establish conclusively causal links between a given foreign policy decision and a set of consequences. This means that once again we have little choice but to operate on an impressionistic and speculative plane. Such a handicap, however, need not doom our exercise to complete sterility. For example, if a manifestly intended consequence does not occur, this in itself goes a long way toward elucidating the nature of a decision's impact.


PYONGYANG'S REUNIFICATION POLICY

Let us begin by assessing the impact of Pyongyang's operational decision in the early 1970s to shift emphasis from revolution to dialogue,

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