Gray zone strategy garners growing attention as China's indirect approach against the U.S., her great power competitor. Unlike the conventional wisdom, the gray zone mechanism is not new historically but rather has been widely at play in many areas in the international arena, particularly in Northeast Asia. South Korea has been under the gray zone offensive of China and North Korea. Typical examples are Beijing's THAAD retaliation and Pyongyang's incrementally advancing nuclear program under a gray discourse of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The examination provides insight into international implications: gray zone strategy as a transitional remedy, its availability to the strong, the different impacts of regime types, and the need for international attention to Pyongyang's gray zone approach towards nuclearization. This analysis also sheds some light on policies for South Korea, including an alliance policy and multilateral efforts.
II. Extant Literature Review and Conceptual Framework
III. China's International Aims and its Gray Zone Strategy toward South Korea
IV. North Korea's Political Aims and its Gray Zone Strategy toward South Korea