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Negotiators as Mediators: The Case of 1987–1995 Korea–United States Bilateral Trade Negotiations


Yonghyun Suh is a professor of law at the Chonbuk National University Law School in the City of Jeonju, South Korea. His e-mail address is

Yoon-Young Angela Choe holds a masters degree in political science from Columbia University. Her e-mail address is


Despite their widely recognized benefits, integrative approaches to negotiation have seldom been effectively used in interorganizational negotiations. This study analyzes the 1987–1995 Korea–United States Trade Negotiations, identifying elements in those talks that could have moved the negotiations in a more integrative direction. The role of building relationships — especially between key negotiators — is examined. Informal negotiations between the key negotiators from both sides were crucial in building such relationships, which helped both sides create solutions for mutual gains. This process was realized, inter alia, by the dual role that the key negotiators took on as negotiators and as mediators.