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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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A New Era of Inter-Korean Relations, 1998–2007

A New Era of Inter-Korean Relations, 1998–2007

(p.153) 5 A New Era of Inter-Korean Relations, 1998–2007
Contentious Activism and Inter-Korean Relations

Danielle L. Chubb

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the evolution of political activism during the administrations of Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun (1997–2000). During this period, the trends of fragmentation and remobilization identified in Chapter 4 converged, resulting in a new propensity toward political reorientation. Concomitant to this is the tendency toward transnationalization. In addition to these two political trends, a third and entirely new development also started to emerge: an attempt to depoliticize discourse over North Korean human rights. A group of actors sought to build bridges between ideologically opposed political adversaries, concerned that the legacy of decades of political activism had stultified discourse over inter-Korean relations. Appealing to universal, depoliticized values of human rights and democracy, in an attempt to overcome deeply entrenched divides in South Korean society, these actors strove to untangle the issue of North Korean human rights from the ideological web of norms, beliefs, and arguments in which it had become caught.

Keywords:   South Korea, North Korea, inter-Korean relations, Kin Dae Jung, Sunshine policy, Roh Moo Hyun, human rights, democracy

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