The year 1990 saw several important developments in Northeast Asia. In June, there was the historic meeting between Presidents Roh and Gorbachev, which led their countries to establish diplomatic relations in October. Also, North Korea and Japan took advantage of the calculated thaw in Northeast Asia to move toward more cordial relations. For its part, China appears to have made an all-out effort to improve its international reputation through such public relations vehicles as the hosting of the 1990 Asian Games. As positive as these developments might seem, however, they have not defused the central flashpoint for potential confrontation in the region—Korea.