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Contentious Activism and Inter-Korean Relations$
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Danielle Chubb

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161367

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161367.001.0001

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From Kwangju to Democracy: 1980–1987

From Kwangju to Democracy: 1980–1987

(p.79) 3 From Kwangju to Democracy: 1980–1987
Contentious Activism and Inter-Korean Relations

Danielle L. Chubb

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes the relationship between South Korean political activism and the trajectory of debate over inter-Korean relations that emerged in the 1980s. It determines the main claims made by the government through scrutiny of official discourses surrounding three key events: Chun Doo Hwan’s proposal for a “Unity Formula” (1982) and North Korea’s subsequent rejection of it; the Rangoon incident of 1983; and the Third Plenary Session of the Advisory Council on Unification (1984). Following this exposé of the normative beliefs and behavioral norms contained within the dominant discourses, subsequent sections of the chapter examine the normative negotiations undertaken by human rights and democracy activists around the themes of transnationalization and radicalization. From a broader perspective, the chapter emphasizes the ways in which actors utilized ethical argumentation to negotiate a persuasive position among a variety of resonant norms.

Keywords:   South Korea, South Korean politics, political activists, democratization, human rights movement, unification, Chun Doo Hwan, North Korea transnationalization, radicalization

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