If you review the June 15 Declaration of 2005, you might think that relations with North Korea had been improving.

The progress in inter-Korean relations of the past five years have been so substantial that some people point to June 15, 2000 as a turning point, a watershed between the old and new regimes.

In South Korea, the June 15 summit triggered diverse discussions on how to define the inter-Korean relationship, and the June 15 anniversary ceremony in 2005 intensified the debate. Some people even suggest that the June 15 summit marked the end of the age of separation and the beginning of the era of unification, based on the agreement in the Joint Declaration, which recognized the similarity between the commonwealth system proposed by the South and the low level of federation favored by the North.

The problem is the west, and the United States, and bad blood leftover from an unresolved war:

On the other hand, North Korea in its foreign relationship did not overcome the Cold War confrontation with the United States and Japan. Furthermore, the economic crisis faced by North Korea also worked as the barrier to its economic transformation into launching a full-scale reform and liberalization program. The normalization of the North Korea-U.S., North Korea-Japan relationships was the historic task that should have been achieved in the late 1980s, and early 1990s at the latest.

And, specifically, they blame the policies as started under Bush 43:

The North Korea-U.S. relationship since the South-North summit turned worse with the inauguration of the Bush administration, making the North Korea-U.S. joint declaration in 2000 that envisaged the normalization of the relationship and the peace arrangement a dead letter. Since then, the issues of easing military tension on the Korean Peninsula failed to move ahead.

Seeing that North and South Korea seem to get along better when the United States stays out of it... shouldn't it stay out of it?

Is the North Korea problem an Asian problem? If not, why have North-South relations worsened over the past decade?

  • "Should" is a really hard question. If we all get nuked then when the cockroaches invent archeology they will be able to say "shouldn't have" with some confidence, until then there is only opinion.
    – user9389
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have been a longstanding source of concern, and North Korea's consider the development of nuclear weapons to be the centerpiece to its domestic and foreign policy, which threatens South Korea's security and is a pain point for the United States, which is South Korea's biggest ally. Because of this, and because of North Korea's insistence on keeping its nuclear weapons and continuing to develop them, relationship between the two countries has since worsened.

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