This introductory chapter begins with a general discussion of inter-Korean relations, which continue to be characterized by antagonism, suspicion, and a distinct lack of mutual trust. It then sets out the book’s primary aims: to provide a more nuanced account of policy making over security-related issues, such as inter-Korean relations, by uncovering the normative concerns motivating South Korea’s approach to the issue; to emphasize the role that political activists have played in the evolution of the norms surrounding debate over inter-Korean relations; and to examine domestic political debates in terms of the arguments put forward by both state and nonstate actors, thus highlighting the centrality of discursive power relations to the evolution of norms over an extended period of time.
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