This paper aims to provide an adequate theoretical interpretation of the South Korean government’s North Korea policy led by Kim Dae Jung with a particular focus on his attempts to promote inter-Korean trade under political hostility. It finds the so-called ‘Jŏngkyŏng Bulli’ initiative and permission of inter-Korean contact through multiple channels as key elements that facilitated uninterrupted growth of trade between the two Koreas while the military confrontation still prevailed. As a preliminary analytical framework to explain the substantial changes in inter-Korean relations during the Kim Dae Jung presidency, this paper proposes complex interdependence model as an ideal type of relationship. The model reflects a key pattern of changes in international relations, typified by transnational interaction and asymmetrical reciprocity, and these notions also create a backdrop that generated the Kim Dae Jung policy in establishing improved economic exchanges with the DPRK.
Ⅱ. Economic interdependence and security
Ⅲ. Complex Interdependence model
Ⅳ. Existing theoretical interpretation on Kim Dae Jung policy
Ⅴ. New interpretation: Complex interdependence model