North Korea, deterrence, and engagement


Artikel & Kommentare 21.10.2014

Article by Heinz Gärtner in Defense and Security Analysis




The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) justifies its nuclear weapon arsenal with the concept of deterrence. It means that it will try to miniaturize and modernize its warheads and missiles. This leads to a first-use doctrine of nuclear weapons. Obama's policy of engagement does not offer a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue as yet. In the context of its policy of critical engagement with the DPRK, the European Union has three key interests: regional peace and stability, denuclearization, and human rights. The Conference on Security and Cooperation (CSCE) could be a precedent. The CSCE process was based on three “baskets”: security, economics, and humanitarian. The multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership is a step in this regard. This article looks at three theoretical approaches: realism, liberal institutionalism, and liberal internationalism. It concludes that a political strategy to create a stable North Korean peninsula has to go beyond nuclear deterrence that is based on the realist notion of balance of power.


Published: 02 October 2014

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