Human rights and U.S. Foreign Policy in North Korea
Hollenbaugh, Shaun D.
Olsen, Edward A.
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In an effort to maintain peace and stability in the East Asia region, and more specifically on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. faces an enormous challenge. The collapse of the Soviet Union, repeated natural disasters, and gross regime mismanagement of economic and social resources have left thousands of North Koreans starving, while at the same time the DPRK spends exorbitant amounts of money on its military. To maintain both its legitimacy and security, the Pyongyang regime purposely and willfully commits many human right violations against its own citizens. Current U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea is centered on the nuclear "Agreed Framework" and the perceived military threat that the DPRK poses to South Korea and the region. To date, human rights issues have not been a viable part of U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea. In response, this thesis proposes foreign and security policies that clearly address the connections between human rights issues and the North Korean military threat.