The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2

By Cathal J. Nolan | Go to book overview

Suggested Reading:
A. C. Nahm, Korea: Tradition and Transformation (1988).
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of (North Korea). Proclaimed in the Soviet administrative zone on September 9, 1948, in 1950 it invaded South Korea, starting the Korean Conflict. It remained for decades a harsh, Stalinist state, under the control of Kim Il-Sung. It officially followed a policy of “juche” (self-reliance), which led to ever-deeper economic decline, accelerating in the 1990s to the level of real crisis. Throughout the Cold War it was allied closely with China and the Soviet Union, directing more than 95 percent of its trade to those countries but managing not to take sides in the Sino-Soviet split. On the other hand, it was not recognized by the United States. As South Korea began to pass it by in economic development, the North grew more—not less—xenophobic, autarkic, and militaristic and sponsored terrorist attacks against the South. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the North lost its major market; China, too, ended trade at “friendship prices.” The North therefore reached an economic crisis of catastrophic proportions. Its response was a marginal domestic thaw, a few joint ventures, and a diplomatic offensive proclaiming a new openness. Meanwhile, it increased arms exports (including missile technology to Iran) and sped up completion of its nuclear weapons program. In 1992 Russia suspended all military shipments, depriving North Korea of replacements for its advanced MIG-29 fighters. In January 1993, Russia announced a unilateral revision of its friendship treaty, removing a clause committing it to aid North Korea in the event of war. Then Russian intelligence reported that North Korea was testing chemical and biological weapons—including anthrax, cholera, bubonic plague, and smallpox—on offshore islands. On April 1, 1993, the IAEA reported North Korea’s refusal to submit to inspection to the Security Council, whereupon the North threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and warned the United Nations not to impose sanctions. The CIA suggested that the North might have already built one or two atomic weapons by the early 1990s. In 1994 North Korea agreed to limited IAEA inspections of plutonium production and to continuity of safeguards, but in practice it continued to defy the IAEA under Kim Jong Il, as it had under his father. By midyear, talk of war was in the air in Western capitals. In 1994it had the world’s fifth largest military, some 1.2 million troops (the only larger armed forces belonged to China, India, the United States, and Russia). Its best missile, the Rodong-1, had a 1,000-kilometer range, but the nation steadily increased its abilities in the latter 1990s, even test firing missiles provocatively near Japan. This encouraged ballistic

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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • F 530
  • Suggested Reading: 534
  • Suggested Readings: 547
  • Suggested Reading: 548
  • Suggested Reading: 557
  • Suggested Readings: 571
  • Suggested Readings: 572
  • Suggested Reading: 573
  • Suggested Reading: 582
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  • Suggested Readings: 590
  • Suggested Readings: 591
  • G 601
  • Suggested Reading: 604
  • Suggested Reading: 618
  • Suggested Readings: 624
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  • Suggested Reading: 636
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  • Suggested Readings: 645
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  • Suggested Readings: 651
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  • Suggested Reading: 668
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  • H 681
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  • I 752
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  • J 846
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  • Suggested Readings: 872
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  • K 884
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  • L 927
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