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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: IRLS631 Course ID: 3483 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

An examination of the governments and the militaries of the two Koreas. This course will closely examine the reasons behind the Korean peninsula playing such a pivotal role in overall Northeast Asian security. The course will examine domestic political, economic and social problems and prospects of North Korea and South Korea; the prospects for reunification; the military balance and the changing strategic environment; and the relations of Pyongyang and Seoul with their key allies. Includes an examination of U.S. relations with Korea.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Summarize and appraise historical setting of Korea

CO-2: Analyze and criticize political developments in Korea

CO-3: Evaluate and discuss the nuclear armament issue of DPRK

CO-4: Research, construct, and present a persuasive written analysis on topics relevant to the Korean politics.

These course objectives harmonize with the Degree Program Objectives, which require graduates to:

  • Construct and criticize the theory and politics of conflict, war, diplomatic relations, and the evolving nature of the international system.
  • Provide students with a research-active teaching environment to provide grounding in the study of international relations including its political, social, and economic aspects.
  • Assess how state, non-state, and supra-national actors behave and interact through a dynamic appreciation of different levels of analysis.
  • Critique the theories of international relations, the heritage and development of the discipline, its major debates, its inherent nature as an interdisciplinary study, and a critical appreciation of the essentially contested nature of politics in general, and international relations in particular.
  • Evaluate the nature and distribution of power in the international systems, the problems of political order and the social economic, historical and cultural context within which international actors operate.
  • Assess the current challenges to international order, cooperation, identity, social formations, and global issues, and possible strategies to address them.
  • Evaluate the changing role of the state in the context of globalization and regional integration and the implications for international peace and security.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

There are six Forum essays and one final paper. The graded elements are listed below. Ungraded essay assignments will still be commented upon.

Essays and papers will be graded on the following criteria: evidence of having read assigned materials, quality of presentation, discussion of relevant concepts, insight, analysis and reasoning. Papers are to be typed (double-spaced) with correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure. Papers that are poorly-written may be returned without being graded. Students will use conventional Word document set-up, including 12 point font. Forums should be 2 – 3 pages. Research Essays should be 4 – 6 pages. The final research paper should be 10-12 pages double-spaced.

NameGrade %
Forum Postings 30.00 %
Unit 1 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 3 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 5 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 2 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 4 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 6 Forum 4.29 %
Unit 7 Forum 4.29 %
Week 3 Research Proposal 30.00 %
Week 3 Research Proposal 30.00 %
Final Research Paper 40.00 %
Week 8 Final Paper 40.00 %

Required Course Textbooks

None. Readings are open-source and available in the classroom.

Other readings are available electronically within the classroom.

Additional Resources and Web Sites

Videos and web sites are available within the classroom and through the university electronic library.

Site Name

URL address

The New York Times

The Washington Post

Foreign Policy

The Economist

Al Jazeera

International Crisis Group

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.