United States' engagement strategy for North Korea
Seiber, Lones B.
Olsen, Edward A.
Looney, Robert E.
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Much debate exists in the international community about the most effective way to deal with the threat of North Korea. A look back in history, especially in the case of United States' past policies, will serve as an analogy and historically based perspective to apply to the North Korean problem. The United States has employed both military engagement and economic engagement in various countries. Because of the regional parallels between the Korean and Vietnamese nations, our approach to the Vietnamese problem after the end of the Vietnamese war, a constructive engagement approach, was useful. Expanding diplomatic and economic ties with an authoritarian government is the most effective way to help move it in the direction of free markets and democracy. This same strategy should be tried with North Korea. A military engagement of this country would be hard fought at the very least with no clear evidence that the results would not destroy the South Korean economy. Military belligerence by the United States reinforces the dogma and perception of necessity of the current regime. Economic engagement would slowly transform the current state in North Korea. A well thought out historically based engagement strategy for countries that threaten to dominate other states is critical for the correct formulization of a viable U.S. foreign policy in this ever-volatile world.
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