Recasting 'Nuclear-Free Korean Peninsula' as a Sino-American language for co-ordination

2014-09-17T14:14:56Z (GMT) by Taku Tamaki
A series of Six-Party Talks involving the United States, China, Japan, South and North Koreas, and Russia resulted in the emergence of a narrative of ‘nuclear-free Korean Peninsula’. Given the prevalence of nuclear weapons amidst Sino-American rivalry, the area is hardly ‘nuclear-free’. Instead, the phrase has evolved into a convenient language for the US and China to signal to each other that there is a coincidence of wants in preserving the multilateral framework despite the Realpolitik dynamics. This article provides a Constructivist perspective to this particular aspect of Sino-American balance of power by taking the language of ‘nuclear-free’ seriously, recasting the narrative as a shared signifier for the US and China to co-ordinate their language despite the lingering bilateral rivalry.