The Sun Is Setting on the Sunshine Policy
Upon his inauguration in February 1998, President Kim Dae Jung initiated a groundbreaking process of engagement with North Korea called the “sunshine policy,?h aimed at dispelling mutual distrust and hostility, while promoting peaceful co-existence between the two Koreas.Progress has been shown through tourist development at Mt. Kumgang and increased meetings of divided families, yet the positive aspects of the sunshine policy have recently been clouded by unforeseen actions taken by the Kim Jung Il regime in North Korea.Essentially the policy adopts the liberal institutionalism view that the utilization of institutions plays an important role in creating cooperation among the two nations.However, due to the ever increasing uncertainty of cooperation in the North, it is becoming clear that the sunshine policy is neither sufficient nor productive in ameliorating relations between the two Koreas and that perhaps South Korea should decide to implement a more realist approach in policy-making which stresses security above all things.
On July 27, 1953, the United States, North Korea and China signed an armistice in Panmunjeom, thus ending the Korean War.This settlement called for a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement, a cease-fire, and a truce in hostilities, to allow for talks and negotiation regarding a real end to hostilities, and to possible reunification.By no means was this a peace treaty and even if it were, it is noted that South Korea refused to sign.Although the Korean War ended in 1953, conflict between the two countries remains to this day, especially in the vicinity of the Demilitarized Zone at the 38th parallel.The sunshine policy is an attempt to improve relations in accordance to the armistice.It is based on three central principles: non-tolerance of any military provocation by North Korea, the official abandonment of the idea of unification by abs…

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