German Unification and the Political Order – Thirty Years Later
The history of the post-war division of Germany marks an important point of reference for inter-Korean politics. Both, South Korean president Roh Tae-woo’s Nordpolitik starting in 1988 and South Korean president Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy (The Reconciliation and Cooperation Policy Towards the North) of 1998 seem to have been directly inspired by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s so-called Neue Ostpolitik (New Eastern Policy) based on Egon Bahr’s concept of Wandel durch Annäherung (change through rapproachment), an early and perhaps decisive step in the de-escalation of the Cold War. Today, the peaceful transition of East Germany toward democracy and the subsequent German unification continue to provide a hopeful historical example that peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula may be attainable.
Copyright (c) 2021 Jürgen Kocka
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