In-Taek Hyun is professor of political science and director of the Il Min International Relations Research Institute at Korea University in Seoul; he was a guest scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace during 2001–2002.
Conflict and Cooperation over Energy, Resources, and Pollution
Northeast Asia is a region with highly disparate levels of industrialization and political systems. It also contains some very troubling security flashpoints—the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, and the East China Sea. China’s rapacious quest for energy and rapid industrial expansion have led to intense international competition—with Japan and the United States—and internal instability as well. North Korea poses two distinct environmental security threats: “famine refugees” and the regime’s use of “nuclear blackmail” for subsidized energy. Yet there is very little regional cooperation, despite the need to manage disputes over energy, natural resources, and pervasive pollution. The Environmental Dimension of Asian Security examines these issues through a “regional environmental security complex” that explores the potential for greater intersubjective understandings of regional environmental and natural resource problems and greater institutional collaboration and management.