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The events of September 11, 2001 and the not-too-subtle style of the George W. Bush administration have introduced new uncertainties in U.S. security policy toward Korea. However, strategic considerations that have inclined successive U.S. administrations toward restraint and engagement with North Korea in the post-Cold War period continue to operate and the Bush administration is not immune to these forces. That is, U.S. security policy toward Korea in the post-Cold War period has been conditioned by an implicit strategy of husbanding U.S. primacy through a posture of reassurance toward potential great power competitors. No doubt, the Bush administration will continue to support the status quo on the Korean peninsula to reassure Japan and China that the United States is a “responsible hegemon.”