China and North Korea: the leverage dilemma
Jones, Stevie L., II
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Various nations in the international domain speculate that China alone has enough leverage to compel North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons. However, China claims that its influence over North Korea is limited. Although China remains North Korea’s most important ally, their relationship often has been categorized as complex and ambiguous, as both countries are driven by a shared history of succumbing to foreign aggression. Some argue that historical events led the two countries to become estranged rather than to become strong allies. Conversely, others contend that the history between China and North Korea drives both countries to maintain an enduring alliance. Therefore, this thesis answers the question: Does China alone possess enough leverage to have major influence on North Korea’s behavior? Through analysis of China and North Korea’s alliance formation, the first and second nuclear crises, and the Six Party Talks, this thesis contends that China alone does not have enough leverage to alter North Korea’s behavior because diplomatic ties are not as close as some may believe. Therefore, the international community should cooperate with China so that influence may be gained over North Korea’s behavior.
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