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Veteran diplomats, academics formulate the MB doctrine

Veteran diplomats, academics formulate the MB doctrine

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Published : 2010-04-05 09:58
Updated : 2010-04-05 09:58

A group of veteran diplomats and scholars from the realist school played key roles in formulating president-elect Lee Myung-bak`s foreign affairs and security policies.
Former Foreign Minister Yoo Jong-ha and former Korean ambassador to the United Nations Park Soo-gil led his national security and foreign affairs advisory team at the Grand National Party.
Top experts in academic circles also served as his policy aides, imbuing the conservative party`s foreign affairs policies with a realist and pragmatic perspective.
They include Nam Sung-wook, professor of North Korean studies at Korea University; Kim Woo-sang, an international relations professor at Yonsei University; Kim Tae-hyo, an international politics professor at SungKyunKwan University; Hyun In-taek, professor of political relations at Korea University; and Prof. Nam Joo-hong, dean of the graduate school of political science at Kyonggi University.
These scholars are "political realists" who seek to maximize national interest under given power relations among countries.
They emphasize a pragmatic approach to international and inter-Korean matters. They believe that Korea should strategically use and build military and economic power to ensure its security and prosperity among neighboring powers.
Their thoughts are embodied in Lee`s foreign and security policies, called the MB Doctrine, comprising two pillars; engagement with North Korea, and a solid Korea-U.S. alliance.
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Nam Sung-wook and Kim Tae-hyo ironed out the president-elect`s North Korea engagement policy "3,000 per capita income for the denuclearization of North Korea."
The two cooperated for the conservative GNP, developing a pragmatic policy which marks a departure from the party`s hard-line North Korean position. They called on the party to reflect changed realities in ties with the North.
The conservative version of the engagement policy suggests that South Korea will provide bold economic support to help increase North Korea`s per capita income to $3,000 within 10 years - if the communist country abandons its nuclear weapons program.
Hyun In-taek and Kim Woo-sang drafted "A New Vision for the Korean Peninsula" to support the engagement policy. The new vision focuses on economic cooperation and suggests the two Koreas form an economic community. According to their rationale, an upgrade in economic ties would precipitate denuclearization and lay the groundwork for South Korea`s expanding of relations with the communist country.
Kim Woo-sang also formulated Lee`s policies for the Korea-U.S. alliance, in cooperation with Nam Joo-hong. Their plan aims to bolster the Korea-U.S. alliance and develop it into a future-oriented relationship.
Rep. Hwang Jin-ha of the GNP, and retired Army Gen. Kim In-chong, drafted Lee`s military policy. Hwang, who led Korea`s U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus in the 1990s, projected his vision of transforming the Korean military into a network-centric fighting force equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems. Kim, a former 2nd Army commander, added his expertise to the policy.

By Jin Dae-woong

(davidpooh@heraldcorp.com)

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