While the Iraq war and Middle East conflicts command the attention of the United States and most of the rest of the developed world, fundamental changes are occurring in East Asia. North Korea has tested nuclear weapons, even as it and South Korea have effectively entered a period of tepid detente; relations among China, Japan, and South Korea are a complex mixture of conflict and cooperation; and Japan is developing more forthright security policies, even as it deepens ties with the United States. Together, these developments pose vital questions for world stability and security.
In "East Asian Multilateralism," prominent international foreign affairs scholars examine the range of implications of shifting alignments in East Asia. The first part delves into the intraregional dynamics, and the second assesses current economic conditions and policies within individual East Asian states. The third section examines the challenge of regional cooperation from the perspectives of local players, while the fourth analyzes the implications for foreign policy in the United States and in Asia.
This thorough review and assessment charts the preconditions and prospects for deeper multilateralism, poses tough questions about America's security and national interests in the region, and carries a plea for more serious institution-building in the North Pacific, using the ongoing six-party process in talks on North Korea as a point of departure.