In This Review

The Troubled Peace: U.S. Policy and the Two Koreas
The Troubled Peace: U.S. Policy and the Two Koreas
By Chae-Jin Lee
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, 376 pp

This is a carefully researched account of U.S. relations with Korea, starting with the earliest contacts but becoming more detailed for the years after 1948. It is a story of how all the participants have been frustrated and unable to realize their main goals. Lee is objective and evenhanded in recounting the strategies guiding the two Korean governments and the United States. His analysis is distinctive in that he documents how domestic developments in all of the countries have been decisive in determining their policies. (In the case of the United States, the result has been that every administration has had its own approach to Korean issues.) Given such a history of frustrations, Lee does not have a happy ending to his story, but he does hold out some hope that, one way or another, the two Koreas can be reunified. At that point, it will be up to U.S. diplomacy to work out a new policy to help sustain a reunified Korea.