North Korea after Kim Il Sung

North Korea after Kim Il Sung

North Korea after Kim Il Sung

North Korea after Kim Il Sung

Synopsis

This study discusses the state of North Korea's domestic affairs as it attempts to move away from its extreme isolationism in foreign policy. It examines North Korea's international relations and highlights the threats that North Koreans perceive about their own security and sovereignty.

Excerpt

In October 1994, more than four decades after the Korean War, the United States and North Korea signed an agreement designed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. The Agreed Framework was the first constructive measure that the United States and North Korea had taken to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. During the Cold War, North Korea was firmly ensconced in the socialist camp in alliance with the Soviet Union and China, while the United States supported South Korea. In an effort to stave off a recurrence of North Korean aggression, U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea for nearly fifty years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe, North Korea has been searching for a place in the community of nations. It joined the nonaligned movement and has succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with more than one hundred countries, but it is completely isolated from the technologically advanced and industrialized countries of the world.

In the eyes of the world community, in particular the industrialized countries, the image of North Korea is unfavorable. The country is so isolated that few hard facts about its people and politics are known to the outside world. It has been accused of practicing state terrorism and has been labeled a rogue state that cannot be trusted.

The U.S. perception of North Korea is especially bad. Because of its long-standing ties with South Korea, the United States has maintained an adversarial relationship with the North. During the Korean War, the United States placed North Korea in the rank of enemy state, a move that prevented U.S. citizens from transacting business with North Korea. (The United States has not rescinded that statute.) Even after the war, encounters between the United States and North Korea were military confrontations, such as the Pueblo incident and the ax murders in the Demilitarized Zone. These incidents did not help the North Korean cause in the United States, nor did the North's constant and often vitriolic propaganda campaigns to denounce the United States as the enemy of the Korean people. The United States . . .

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