In This Review

Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement
Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement
By Selig S. Harrison
Princeton University Press, 2002, 352 pp

At a time when North Korean nuclear developments have created a crisis in world affairs, we are fortunate to have this thoughtful and provocative book. Based on meetings with both Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il, Harrison presents explanations of Pyongyang's actions that are more sympathetic and intelligent than the official pronouncements of the North Korean government. He sees reunification as a realistic goal through a confederation of North and South, with all surrounding powers pledging the neutralization and denuclearization of the peninsula. He argues that the United States should withdraw its forces from South Korea over a ten-year period and seek to be an honest broker between North and South. With the end of the Cold War, North Korea lost the security backing of both Russia and China, and thus, in Harrison's view, it feels vulnerable to American attack, justifying the restart of its uranium-enrichment program. Although Harrison does not prepare us for the severity of the tensions caused by North Korean actions, he does cover a wide range of issues and much inside history, making this read still valuable.