Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 2003 - History - 265 pages
3 Reviews

The regime of Kim Jong-Il has been called "mad," "rogue," even, by the Wall Street Journal, the equivalent of an "unreformed serial killer." Yet, despite the avalanche of television and print coverage of the Pyongyang government's violation of nuclear nonproliferation agreements and existing scholarly literature on North Korean policy and security, this critical issue remains mired in political punditry and often misleading sound bites. Victor Cha and David Kang step back from the daily newspaper coverage and cable news commentary and offer a reasoned, rational, and logical debate on the nature of the North Korean regime.

Coming to the issues from different perspectives -- Kang believes the threat posed by Pyongyang has been inflated and endorses a more open approach, while Cha is more skeptical and advocates harsher measures -- the authors together have written an essential work of clear-eyed reflection and authoritative analysis. They refute a number of misconceptions and challenge much faulty thinking that surrounds the discussion of North Korea, particularly the idea that North Korea is an irrational nation. Cha and Kang contend that however provocative, even deplorable, the Pyongyang government's behavior may at times be, it is not incomprehensible or incoherent. Neither is it "suicidal," they argue, although crisis conditions could escalate to a degree that provokes the North Korean regime to "lash out" as the best and only policy, the unintended consequence of which are suicide and/or collapse. Further, the authors seek to fill the current scholarly and policy gap with a vision for a U.S.-South Korea alliance that is not simply premised on a North Korean threat, not simply derivative of Japan, and not eternally based on an older, "Korean War generation" of supporters.

This book uncovers the inherent logic of the politics of the Korean peninsula, presenting an indispensable context for a new policy of engagement. In an intelligent and trenchant debate, the authors look at the implications of a nuclear North Korea for East Asia and U.S. homeland security, rigorously assessing historical and current U.S. policy, and provide a workable framework for constructive policy that should be followed by the United States, Japan, and South Korea if engagement fails to stop North Korean nuclear proliferation.

  

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Review: Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies

User Review  - Jjudyfl - Goodreads

...best book I've read on subject... 2 authorities discuss from different viewpoints... I will continue to occasionally refer back to this book. Read full review

Review: Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies

User Review  - Betsy - Goodreads

Very thorough exam of the situation and problems in North Korea. A good call for more deliberative foreign policy, rather than the current short term thinking. Read full review

Contents

Weak but Still Threatening
13
Threatening but Deterrence Works
41
Why We Must Pursue Hawk Engagement
70
Why Are We Afraid of Engagement?
101
The 2003 Nuclear Crisis
128
Beyond Hyperbole Toward a Strategy
163
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 231 - Deterrence and Security in the 21st Century: China, Britain, France, and the Enduring Legacy of the Nuclear Revolution. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2000; Bates Gill, James Mulvenon, and Mark Stokes, "China's Strategic Rocket Forces: Transition to Credible Deterrence," in Richard Yang and James Mulvenon (eds), The People's Liberation Armv as Organization, Arlington, VA: RAND.

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About the author (2003)

Victor D. Cha is associate professor of government and D. S. Song--Korea Foundation Chair, Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He is the author of Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle, which won the 2000 Ohira Book Prize. David C. Kang is an associate professor in the department of government and an adjunct associate professor at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College. He is the author of Crony Capitalism: Corruption and Development in Korea and the Philippines.

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