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Sunshine Policy

The Sunshine Policy is part of South Korea's foreign policy towards North Korea. In 2000 South Korea (Kim Dae Jung) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace as a result of the Sunshine Policy.


The Sunshine Policy was introduced by Kim Dae Jung in order to underline the peaceful management of the division of the Korean pensinsula. This policy is continued by Kim's successor Roh Moo-hyun. It stands in great contrast with past policies towards North Korea which focused on containment.

The term Sunshine Policy originates in an episode of Aesop's fables. The main aim of the policy is to soften North Korea's attitudes towards the south by encouraging interaction and economic assistance.

Guiding Principles

There are three guiding principles to the Sunshine Policy. Firstly, no armed provocation by the north will be tolerated. Secondly, the south will not attempt to absorb the north in any way. Finally, the south actively seeks cooperation.

Key Aspects of the Policy

The Sunshine Policy bases on the belief that the regime under Kim Jong Il in the north will not collapse or disintegrate in the near future. It is not believed that the current economic crisis will undermine the regime, even if it turns out to be permanent.

It is believed that military tensions can be lessened through bilateral and multilateral frameworks. This emphasizes the normalization of political and economic relations between both the United States and North Korea as well as Japan and North Korea.

Policy Guidelines