Deterrence and engagement U.S. and North Korean interactions over nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War
Moltz, James Clay
Olsen, Edward A.
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The North Korea nuclear crisis needs to be understood comprehensively, taking into account both international relations and the domestic political dynamics of the countries involved. Thus, this thesis analyzes North Korean and U.S. policies by examining their policies in the two nuclear crises (1993-94) and (2002-present) and proposing an improved option for reaching a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. This thesis finds that North Korea has pursued nuclear weapons with a unique historical, cultural, political background-based strategy as a security mechanism and as a diplomatic tool to help overcome its economic difficulties. Recently it has shown a somewhat more predictable policy toward nuclear issues. In terms of U.S. responses to North Korea's nuclear program, the Clinton administration attempted to modify North Korea's bad behavior with engagement. By contrast, the Bush administration tried to change the Pyongyang regime by adopting a hard-line approach. But, since North Korea's explosive test in October 2006, the United States has engaged again positively with North Korea. The best option to achievement of North Korean denuclearization is to apply multilateral and integrated threat reduction programs in North Korea in a comprehensive manner with responsibility shared by all of the partners in the current Six-Party Talks.
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