ABOUT THE BOOKKorean peninsula, due to its strategic location hold a significant position in the political history of East Asia. Representing the ‘last divided nation’ in the world, studying the current issues in the inter Korean relation and determining its future course, has become all the more important to the international society. Adding to the richness of the Korean studies discipline, a book titled – ‘ INTER- KOREAN RELATIONS , FAMILY OR ENEMY ?’edited by Paek Kun Young was published by Hollym Corp in 2014 , under the stewardship of Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU). KNCU in partnership with other national commissions has implemented various activates within and outside South Korea pertaining to the mission of UNESCO. As part of their 60th anniversary, a series of 3 volumes was brought out in 2014 for general readers to enhance their understanding of the various aspects of the two Koreas. This book is the third volume in the series containing selected articles from the Korean Journal authored by famous scholars and experts of Korean Studies.IDEA BEHIND THE BOOKThe editor , Park Kun Young considers the mistrust between two fractions of people to be the root cause of the division of the peninsula and the subsequent events that followed through the pages of history upto the present day. The book is divided into three parts. Tracing the events that lead to the mistrust among the people , the first part deals with historical aspect of the division and consolidation of Korean peninsula. Keeping its historical background as a reference, the second part deals with current socio- economic issues pertaining to Korean peninsula and the international community. In the last part, the editor has compiled articles on a ‘realistic’ approach to the reunification of the two Koreas. They highlight pros and cons of unification to the two Koreas and its significance in the arena of international relations and diplomacy.OVERVIEW F THE CONTENTSIn the first article, , Seo Joong Seok narrates the political friction between the left- right ideology groups and the moderate right wing hoping for the ‘unified ‘ korea post the Korean independence in 1945. He agrees to other korelogists that ‘anti communist ideologies’ had taken roots in the Korean soil right from the Japanese colonialism. He brings out through the article how the futurw of political pluralism was shaped by anticommunist state structure backed by the National Security Law implemented from Dec 1 1948. He considers National Security law as the ‘ legal and organisational apparatus of the anti communist structure and determined its political characteristics’.Throwing light into the harsh realities of the National Security Law is Lim Chaechong in the second article. He strongly points out how from its inception, the law was used as a tool of anti communist ideology to spread authoritarian rule. If the Syngman Rhee government used it for the process of nation state building prior to the Korean war, then the military dictators as Park Chung Hee and Roh Tae Woo used it for their development oriented dictatorship endeavours. Even though the law’s intentions and credibility were questioned during the Kims’ rule, it couldn’t be abolished due to the backing it got from the conservative party in the national assembly. Lim Chaechong brings under the radar many cases of human rights violation by National Intelligence Security( NIS) , which was formed under the limits of the National security Law to weed out ‘leftist’ activates posing a threat to the sovereignty of South Korea. He concludes on a hopeful note that the monitoring by the NIS committee and petitions of various civil societies can curb the brutalities committed under the National Security Law in the name of security.Historical search of inter Korean relations can not be complete without the discussion of Juche ideology of North Korea , attributed to its ‘ great leader’ Kim Il Sung. Christopher Hale explores the multifunctional aspect of Juche by this article .Hale gives us an insight into the nature of leadership and development of the North Korean Constitution by tracing the evolution of the juche ideology. Post the Korean war, this ideology was merely a tool used by Kim Il Sung to form a reliable political rule to stabilise the situation. However, over his rule, it turned out to be a ‘personal cult’. This ‘personal cult’ was further used to legitimise his own rule by Kim Jong Il, son of Kim Il Sung. Interestingly, the ideology got an ‘ersatz religious’ aspect thanks to Kim Jung Il who added ontological characters of universe, human kind and ‘great leadership’ to the philosophy. Hale , agrees with Bruce Camings that ‘Korea took from Marxism and Leninism what it wanted and rejected much of the rest’.Kim Keun Sik brings up an issue of utmost importance to the security of North East Asia and other countries around the world, specially the ‘super powers’ – North Korea’s Nuclear Programme. This article, which deals with the ‘relation between the official position and real intention to their Military first Policy’ hold great a great significance, at a time when Trump has been elected as the President of USA and the North conducted yet another Nuke test a month ago. Earlier if the rational was to create energy resources in the Peninsula, around 2002, with the second nuclear crisis and election of the Bush government, the North brought out an official statement justifying its nuclear activates as a safeguard from the threats of the US. Significance of the role of USA in Inter Korean relation is yet again brought out in the next chapter , dealing with the development of economic relations between the two Koreas. With the Sunshine Policy, economic activities had accelerated across the 38th parallel. Investments by Hyundai in the Kaesong belt near the demilitarised zone, made a overturn of over 1 billion US $ in 2004-05. However, with a stronger diplomatic stance against the North Korea taken by the US, eventually the economic ties affected especially during the Lee Myun Bak rule. The author, Lee wonhyuk opines that the economic ties between the North and the South has market and industrial benefit for both the parties. He recommends that a stronger diplomatic stance with both US and North Korea can actual accelerate the economic flows again. For this he highlights the benefit of the ‘ two track system’ which the South had employed earlier as useful. Here, the US keeps a control over the arms trade by the North Korea, while South Korea through their policies makes internal changes. The last four chapters of the book deals with philosophy and realities of the unification policy for the Korean peninsula. Koo Kab Woo highlights that it is due to the fierce completion between the diverse state philosophies of the two Koreas that peace negotiations fail. For this he recommends the building of a sustainable peace system, sensitive to the the various socio-economic- political requirement of the two countries, for a successful unification process to be implemented. Kim Hyoung Chan suggests a changing trend in the values attributed to Unification Process. According to a study conducted ny Seoul National University in 2010, 50% of the respondents supported unification due to its economic benefits to South Korea. Unification is not just a political agenda. Its the people who needs to adapt to it. Appealing to the human rights aspect of the unification , Kim Hyoung Chan states that unification in the peninsula is a matter of international concern. Further dwelling into the role of civil society in unification process is Cho Dae Yop. He introduces the significance of a new concept of ‘civil nationalism’. Through the course of his chapter, Cho Dae Yop reiterates that civic hiddenites and human rights as important forces in the unification process. Various civil society lead peace movements and unification activities monitored by the government continues to take place. One of these has been the various social welfare activities undertaken by various Christian denominations across the 38th Parallel. Its these activates that still keep alive the interest in unification in the hearts of people.In the last chapter , Park Kun Young, analysis the impact of changing Sino – American relations over the inter Korean relations. I consider this chapter as an eye opener to why the unification is undesirable to the ‘patrons’ of North and South Korea. Even if unified Korea keep the rising China at check, Park Kun young feels that US might not back this possibility due to the threat Korea leaning towards China for economic benefit. As for China, loosing North Korea as an ally for military activates and the presumed fear that a unified Korea may take back the ‘third Korea’ in China from them is a great matter of concern. Also, adding to its territorial woes will be the chances of drawing the attention of USA to Taiwan in the case of Korea reunification. The recent THAAD missile issue has drastically affected the economic relations of china and South Korea. Park Kun young winds up the book with a string of suggestions to policy makers of both Koreas to work on their diplomatic ties and civil society policies for a possibility of unification and peace to exist in the Korean peninsula , thereby benefiting also the international community.ConclusionThe greatest motivation to read this book is that it explains who are the north Koreans from the south Korean point of view as well as the international community. Due to the various political restrictions in the North , it is difficult to find reliable and deep academic works on anything related to North Korea. The fact that the book managed to put forth the opinions of the civilan’s from both Koreas to political authorities of the both the countries, their international allies and a global citizen on the necessity of unifiacation , is worthy of accolades. Often the unification of West and East Germany is quoted as an example to question the inability of the two Koreas to unify. But that was possible due to the economic advantage Germany had that time. Sunshine Policy was in fact , an attempt by Kim Dae Jung to do the same in Korea since the South was financially doing well. But the setback they faced due to lack of cooperation from North and the US , worsened the trust issue. Thus, the book is useful in understanding the variables hindering the possibility of a progressive inter Korean relations. I think more of interest from international community appealing to the human rights violations in North and South can put the peace talks in fast track than waiting for policy amendments and shift in diplomatic stand point.ReferencesEdited by Park Kun Young (2014) Inter Korean relations family or enemies?, Hollym CorpWi Jo Kang (1992) Christ and Caesar in modern Korea,SUNY press.Abr. Frowein Jochen (1992) The reunification of Germany, American Society of International Law.Ministry of Unification (2002) Sunshine policy peace and conflict cooperation.