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Trends in North Korean foreign policy

Four major themes characterize post—Cold War North Korean politics. North Korea declared itself to be a nuclear power in and the international negotiations aimed at denuclearizing North Korea have yielded modest mixed results. Second, the ideology of Juche self-reliance has been a central theme in the domestic political process of building and consolidating the North Korean regime of a one-man rule since the Kim Il-Sung era. A third theme is the dilemma of North Korean economic reforms toward marketization.

Why Are Japan and South Korea at Each Other’s Throats? – Foreign Policy

Pyongyang has tried a few measures of market economy to attract foreign investments, but remains extremely wary of the social and political ramifications of such steps. Fourth, in the future of North Korea is at a crossroads after the death of Kim Jong-Il in December and the generational succession to his young son Kim Jong-Un. The literature that informs North Korean politics generally tends to cover both Koreas in a single publication given their intertwined modern history.

Oberdorfer , Cumings , and Robinson offer an excellent historical overview of Korean politics.


They all rightly highlight the importance of collective historical experiences such as the Japanese colonialism, the occupation, the division and the Korean War in shaping their national politics. Kihl , Kim , and Yang offer a comprehensive overview of the political systems of the two Koreas to readers who wish to grasp some basic understanding of North Korea in comparison with South Korea.

Most recently, there have been works that could serve as texts on the specific topic of North Korean politics aside from the aforementioned books on modern history. McEachern offers a comprehensive assessment of the North Korean regime from an institutional perspective. Cha is the first scholarly and public policy book on North Korea published after the death of Kim Jong-il.

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Cha, Victor D. New York: HarperCollins Ecco, The first published work on North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il. Argues controversially the regime is under dual stresses that it ultimately cannot manage: A post—Kim Jong-il leadership that adheres to conservative Juche self-reliance ideals, and a society that has grown more independent with an emerging market mentality.

Cumings, Bruce.

Samuel S. Kim

Updated ed. New York: W. Norton, A historical overview of Korean politics. Using original English and Korean archives, the chapters are dense with details but are very informative. Kihl, Young Hwan. Boulder, CO, and London: Westview, Offers a general overview of North Korean political system until the early s juxtaposed with South Korean system in a comparative manner. Useful for a basic understanding of how the two countries have developed distinctively different political systems. Kim, Ilpyong J. Two Koreas in Transition: Implications for U. Rockville, MD: In Depth, Views North Korean politics through the lens of US foreign policy. The chapters were written by prominent Korea scholars from various political and ideological angles and can be of use to provide an overview of the various themes of Korean politics. McEachern, Patrick. New York: Columbia University Press, Challenges the conventional view that the North Korean political system is entirely under control of one man and argues instead that it has transitioned into a posttotalitarian stage where policies are drawn based upon pluralism among institutions.

Between the years of and , the Cold War Era came to an end with the collapse of the communist Soviet bloc. However, unique among the Soviet imposed communist regimes, the struggling North Korean government has lived on, defying odds and predictions.

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How is it that the North Korean regime is able to withstand the pressures of change? By using articles from the Rodong Sinmun, Kulloja, and the Pyongyang Times from this period, this paper will show that North Korea believed that the changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union posed a serious threat to its internal system, sovereignty, and legitimacy due to the deteriorating geopolitical environment. This understanding compelled North Korea to implement new foreign policies to adapt to a new world order: establishing friendlier relations with its neighbors and developing nuclear capabilities.

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This paper will illustrate that both policies were rational and complementary responses that has been critical for the survival of the North Korean regime. Also, as these two policies are inseparable, instead of coercing or enticing North Korea to accommodate, it will be much more effective to change the underlying considerations that led to these policies. Skip to main content. UC Berkeley. Email Facebook Twitter. Abstract Between the years of and , the Cold War Era came to an end with the collapse of the communist Soviet bloc. Thumbnails Document Outline Attachments.

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