North Korea in Transition

By Chong-Sik Lee; Se-Hee Yoo | Go to book overview

9. North Korea's Relations with Eastern Europe

HA YONG-CHOOL

What is Eastern Europe to North Korea in ideological, political, economic, military, and diplomatic terms? How have different patterns in North Korean -- East European relations evolved? What are the major determinants of the relations? Finally, what are the prospects for future relations?

In this chapter, I will analyze these questions on both macro and micro levels. Viewing Eastern Europe as a whole, I will examine the importance, problems, and contradictions of Eastern Europe in North Korean foreign policy (macro analysis). In this macroanalysis, a conceptual framework for different bases of regime affinity will be used. Microanalysis will deal with the characteristics of bilateral relations between North Korea and specific Eastern European countries.

In terms of time periods covered, the chapter focuses on the dynamic and interesting developments of the 1970s and 1980s. In terms of data, speeches and communiqués resulting from high-level exchanges (ministerial and above, but mainly state heads) will be thematically analyzed.


Eastern Europe and North Korea

Eastern Europe is important to North Korea in ideological, diplomatic, economic, and military respects. Ideologically, Eastern Europe is the symbol of the socialist international community, which shares the common goal of realizing socialism and communism. Bound together by class and beliefs, this community attaches great importance to internationalism, transcending nationalism. Since these countries share the same goal, the domestic and international policies of any one of them, and the implications and ramifications of those policies, are directly relevant to the entire community.

Ideology determines the nature of the political, economic, and social order of a country; and sharing the same ideological goal with another country (or

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