This book considers both Koreas - North Korea and South Korea - to examine possible pathways for the years leading up to 2032 and beyond, thus offering a composite picture of Korea and its strategic relevance in Asia and the world at large.

Through a combined South-North Olympic team and an effort of jointly hosting the Games, Republic of Korea president Moon Jae-in has marked the year 2032 as special in the future of the Korean Peninsula. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed scepticism about a combined hosting of the Games, the expectation in Korea is that this event will underline the shared destiny of the people inhabiting the peninsula and realign two states still caught in an ideologically fraught civil conflict that is one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. Chapters begin with a brief historical review and analysis of the present, before moving to consider how these will shape the next decade, drawing comparative and complementary analyses. No matter how contrasting the contemporary trajectories of both North and South Korea might appear, ‘Korea’ as a singular entity is an old concept still containing great possibilities. As the ongoing inter-Korean reconciliation process underscores, the futures of North and South Korea can be found in a complementary singular Korea, which would again represent an important political, strategic, cultural, and social space in Asia.

An evaluation of the future trajectory, social awareness and perception of the Koreas, this book offers a valuable contribution to the study of North and South Korea and Asian Politics.

chapter |7 pages


Prelude to Korea 2032

part I|70 pages

The contemporary Korean Peninsula

chapter 1|21 pages

Promise and peril

Korea in Northeast Asia

chapter 2|27 pages

Ideas matter in inter-Korean relations

Shifts in South Korea's foreign policy interests and behavior vis-à-vis North Korea

chapter 3|20 pages

The status quo and its discontents

The legacy of Donald Trump's “America First” and the future of the US–Korea relationship

part II|79 pages

Korea's role in regional and global affairs

chapter 4|17 pages

Troubling neighborhood

Japan's perspective on the Korean Peninsula

chapter 5|20 pages

China–Korea relations in 2032

The race for eco-political dominance?

chapter 7|26 pages

Between accords and discords

Korea in the United Nations discourse

part III|96 pages

Economy, politics and socio-culture on the Korean Peninsula

chapter 8|37 pages

A unified Korean Peninsula economy

Benefits for both sides of the 38th Parallel

chapter 9|24 pages

Future acts of past forgetting

Symbolism, political consciousness, and ethno-nationalism in Korean reunification

chapter 10|21 pages

Separation and coming together

Problems and prospects for the Korean Peninsula

chapter 11|12 pages

The Wilsonian state

Korea in modern world history