FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A HUNDRED YEARS, all the major powers in Northeast Asia, including the United States, are at peace with one another. With the end of the Cold War, the century of turmoil that began with a war between China and Japan in 1895 seems to have come to an end. But the peace in Northeast Asia today is not necessarily secure, nor is it clear that the region is free from the dynamics of power struggle which led to the conflicts and confrontations of the past hundred years. Geography may not drive events in international relations, but it certainly affects calculations in the relations among states. The Korean peninsula, interposed between the Chinese continent and the Japanese islands, cannot but affect the strategic calculations of China and Japan and, less directly, of Russia and the United States. Historically, the Chinese saw Korea as the corridor to Japan, while the Japanese saw the Korean peninsula as a dagger pointed at their nation's heart. Given Korea's geography, it is hardly surprising that most of the conflicts and confrontations in Northeast Asia for the last hundred years involved Korea. For the same reason, the future of security in East Asia is closely linked to the fate of Korea.