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Korea Peace Index: KOPI

Korea Peace Index: KOPI

The Korea Peace Index (KOPI), which rates the changes in unification/conflict dynamics between North and South Korea in numbers according to a pre-determined scale, was developed to help people come to a better understanding of inter-Korean relations. Also, it aims to provide a database to establish policies on North Korea on the part of the government or non-governmental entities and to develop a framework for analysis of the relationship between North and South Korea.

Method for Compiling the Korea Peace Index (KOPI)

The method for compiling the KOPI used that of the Conflict and Peace Data Bank (COPDAB) developed by Edward Azar at the University of Maryland. COPDAB is a tool that Azar had used for 30 years from 1948 to 1978 by analyzing numerical conflict and peace data from approximately 135 countries. It is based on the ideas of liberal functionalism.

Information is collected on daily events surrounding North and South Korea. After each event is evaluated, the score is added up. This is the daily Peace Index. The weekly Index, Monthly Index, and Annual Index are calculated by determining the average daily index, that is, by adding the total of the daily Peace Indices and dividing them by the number of days in the week, month, or year. The Korea Peace Index (KOPI) categorizes event data by field, issue, and subject.

After a test analysis for three months to determine which data sources would be used, the Yonhap News Agency, whose articles on North Korea are generally used by domestic daily newspapers, was selected.

Contents of the Korea Peace Index

COPDAB's scale contains 15 points. Events are ranked by assigning them to one of the 15 scale points. It provides hundreds of preferred keywords for the scale points and weighted values between -102 to 92, representing the range between extensive war acts and voluntary unification. As shown in [table 1], the event type is divided between states of Peace, scale points 1-7, and states of Conflict, scale points 9-15, with scale point being neutral with a weighted value of -1.

Scale Point Event weighted value
1 Voluntary unification into one nation 92
2 Major strategic alliance (regional or international) 47
3 Military, economic or strategic support 31
4 Non-military economic, technological or industrial agreement 27
5 Cultural or scientific agreement or support (non-strategic) 14
6 Official verbal support of goals, values, or regime 10
7 Minor official exchanges, talks or policy expressions--mild
verbal support
8 Neutral or non-significant acts for the inter-nation situation -1
9 Mild verbal expressions displaying discord in interaction
10 Strong verbal expressions displaying hostility in interaction -16
11 Diplomatic-economic hostile actions -29
12 Political-military hostile actions -44
13 Small scale military acts -50
14 Limited war acts -65
15 Extensive war acts causing deaths, dislocation or high strategic costs -102