Nordpolitik was the signature foreign policy of South Korean president
President of South Korea
The President of the Republic of Korea is, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, chief executive of the government, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the head of state of the Republic of Korea...

 Roh Tae-woo
Roh Tae-woo
Roh Tae-woo , is a former ROK Army general and politician. He was the 13th president of South Korea .Roh befriended Chun Doo-hwan while in high school in Daegu. In his younger life, Roh was a keen rugby union player....

. Named in 1983 by then-Foreign
Foreign relations of South Korea
The foreign relations of South Korea are South Korean relations with other governments.South Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 188 countries. The country has also been a member of the United Nations since 1991, when it became a member state at the same time as North Korea...

 Minister Lee Beom Suk
Lee Beom-seok (Foreign Minister)
Lee Bum Suk was the Foreign Minister of South Korea from 1982 until his death. He was among the victims of the Rangoon bombing in 1983....

 but not formally announced until the run-up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the policy guided South Korean efforts to reach out to the traditional allies of North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, with the ultimate goal of normalized relations with the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, both to improve the South's economy and to leave the North so isolated that it would have no choice but to open itself up and reduce military tensions.

The policy was named after the West German
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 policy of Ostpolitik
Neue Ostpolitik , or Ostpolitik for short, refers to the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Eastern Europe, particularly the German Democratic Republic beginning in 1969...

 ("Eastern Policy") towards the then communist East Germany, although the Ostpolitik was aimed directly at a normalization of the relationship between two German states. The successor of the Nordpolitik was the Sunshine Policy
Sunshine policy
The Sunshine Policy was the foreign policy of South Korea towards North Korea until Lee Myung-bak's election to presidency in 2008. Since its articulation in 1998 by South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, the policy resulted in greater political contact between the two nations and some historical...

, which bore more tangible similarities with the German Ostpolitik.

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