Researching of U.S. Policy toward North Korea

Annotated Bibliography

Ahn, Taehyung. 2018. “Patience or Lethargy?: U.S. Policy toward North Korea under the Obama Administration.” North Korean Review, 8, no. 1: 67–83. Web.

The source discusses the difference between diplomatic and political approaches in the US foreign policy approach to North Korea, particularly focusing on Obama’s administration stance of using ‘strategic patience.’ The article discusses whether this foreign policy is strategic or ‘lethargic’, discussing its outcomes and future potential in the ultimate goal of denuclearization of the peninsula. The author is a professor of International Studies at Florida International University and does not have extensive publications, so his validity and expertise are questionable, but the article does use strong argumentation. The journal, albeit being focused on North Korea in politics and policy, is also relatively low impact and recently founded at the time of the publication, but is published for a respectful large publisher. The subject matter and content of this source present a good analysis of the Obama administration’s approach to North Korea, and as being one of the more recent presidents, it has had an impact on the policy at the current date, particularly since Pres. Biden was an essential part of Obama’s administration. It may allow us to see the transition in policy between the various political parties as well as over time, as the issue of North Korea has been a continuous and growing issue.

Baek, Jieun. 2021. “A Policy of Public Diplomacy with North Korea.” Harvard Kennedy School: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Web.

The author of this comprehensive report is a doctorate fellow at the Belfer Center with a focus on North Korea policy, being the author of several books and having regional work experience. Her credibility seems established along with the Harvard Belfer Center which published the policy report, enhancing its validity. The report focuses on the use of so-called ‘public diplomacy’ in North Korea policy, which instead of focusing on sanctioning, angering, and isolating the country as most of the administrations have done, this approach seeks to improve the internal conditions in order to generate change. The public diplomacy method emphasizes improving human rights, educating people on the inside, delivering information, and empowering opposition. All of these are utilized in a public approach as much as allowed with minimal violations of law while pursuing simultaneous denuclearization negotiations. The goal is not only to create external pressure as sanctions do, but internal ones, with North Koreans wanting to seek change themselves. I think the information and recommendations in this report are highly valuable for the research, particularly addressing future policy approaches. It is an unorthodox but pragmatic approach, which takes time but can be effective in delivering the change in policy outcomes that the US desperately seeking.

Cha, Viktor, and Katrin Fraser Katz. 2018. “The Right Way to Coerce North Korea: Ending the Threat Without Going to War.” Foreign Affairs, 97, no. 3: 87–100. Web.

The authors of this scholarly article are fellows at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with extensive experience in government and academia focusing on Eastern Asia. The journal of Foreign Affairs is also one of the most respected publications in the field, suggesting the strong validity of this article. The research focuses on the analysis of Donald Trump’s policy on North Korea halfway through his term, with a focus on his relatively unstable and unpredictable approach to this element of foreign policy. The article goes in-depth regarding Trump’s ‘carrot and stick’ attempt at diplomacy and personal relationship to Kim Jung-un, providing an insight at his potential goals. Similarly, policy recommendations are offered based on the context of the current global environment. This article can be valuable in examining Trump’s policy-making towards North Korea, particularly as the direct administration prior to the current one. It will help in building a timeline in the US administration’s efforts and juxtapose the historic efforts to make progress, as undoubtedly, Trump’s approach if anything, was radically non-traditional in comparison to that of his predecessors. Overall, it is also viable to track the status quo of North Korea as well as the decades pass and attempt to perceive both sides in their approaches, goals, and strategies in this tumulus relationship.

Chubb, Danielle. 2017. “A Nuclear North Korea and the Limitations of US Security Perspectives.” Critical Studies on Security 5 (3): 317–32. Web.

The author of this article is a senior lecturer on international relations at Deakin University, with a focus on the Korean peninsula and human rights. She has extensive experience in academia and an extensive publication resume, emphasizing that there is a level of expertise on the topic. The article focuses on offering broad but very detailed and analytical discussions regarding the failure of the US policy on denuclearization of North Korea. What the article does well, and it could serve as excellent information, is that it goes deeply in discussing how the US policy gets formed, which factors influence it, and who drives it among the major players. The author mentions a “specific construction” of the North Korean threat under administrations and certain constraints that the policymakers may have. This strong and detailed analysis of the security environment and policy creating will be invaluable in this paper with a focus on the North Korea policy over decades, most of which has unfortunately failed, prior to making recommendations for the future. The article juxtaposes the various policy approaches with understandable and highly analytical methods in the context of risk and security analysis striving to highlight the rationales that were behind each position.

Cumings, Bruce. 2020. “Obama, Trump and North Korea.” In The United States in the Indo-Pacific, edited by Oliver Turner and Inderjeet Parmar, 79-93. Manchester.: Manchester University Press.

This chapter excerpt was written by Bruce Cummings, a historian and professor at University of Chicago and one of the most highly respected historians in the world on East Asia. He has numerous publications, accolades, and engagements, with his knowledge of the region, history, and policy is at the echelons of this field, making any writing from him both valid and tremendously valuable and informational. In this chapter, Cumings goes in detail to describe the history of U.S. – North Korean relations and the respective policy approaches starting with the Obama presidency and all the way to Trump. While some analysis is offered in the work, it is written more of as a historical piece, providing details, key events, and a narrative. It becomes clear to understand how the parties involved grew, their thoughts and processes, the goals and outcomes behind each major policy-driven change or meeting. This chapter will be valuable for adding context and general discussion surrounding the policy successes and failures of the last two major administrations and more than a decade of US policy directly. It may offer some insights, quotes, descriptions, and attitudes – many elements such historical narratives may have compared to more analytical policy research. Furthermore, it add to the knowledge of applications and the utilization of strategic diplomatic tools.

Feffer, John. 2003. North Korea/South Korea: U.S. Policy at a Time of Crisis. New York: Seven Stories Press

This source will be taking the whole book as a significant piece of research and information on the background of the Korean crisis. Published in 2003, it was released early in the Bush Jr. era, and gives a comprehensive and detailed account of the US–North Korea relationship and policy struggles since the end of the Korean War, but particularly through the Cold War and in its aftermath as the Soviet Union fell apart. Many sources are seeing North Korea through the lens of modernity, after the last three presidents and the current one, have had their opportunities with policymaking. A deep dive into the context of the North Korean crisis, especially as the world was transitioning post-Cold War, and around the time it began to seriously develop its nuclear ambitions, can serve as a key background on the issue and understanding the diplomatic efforts both past and present have been the way that they are. I think that although this work is outdated, it will offer a valuable glimpse at the attitudes and belies of nearly two decades ago. The author of this book is a well-known author, currently co-director of foreign policy at the Institute of Policy Studies and a fellow in other respected policy organizations. His writing is more at the level of popular politics rather than exact academia, but his expertise on policy and expertise suggests he researches well and the information is well-supported.

Kim, Inhan. 2017. “No More Sunshine: The Limits of Engagement with North Korea.” The Washington Quarterly 40 (4): 165–81. Web.

Inhan Kim is a Ph.D and professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Not much information is known, and this is the only publication found. However, the publication Washington Quarterly itself is a respected magazine in the field of politics and international studies. There is no means to prove high validity for the article, but it may present some key insights and opinions. The article focuses strongly on the policy towards North Korea, through its Southern counterpart, which is a key regional US ally. However, South Korea, both for security reasons and socio-cultural ones, is striving to normalize the relationship with North Korea, both being part of one whole and now a brotherly nation despite many differences ideologically. One of the commonly suggested approaches and partially utilized policy approaches by the US had been through South Korea, that favors mostly a diplomatic and friendly approach in the attempts to lower tensions and a warming of relations. This famously allowed for the meeting between Trump and Kim Jung-un. The author of this article argues that there are significant inherent limitations to said approach. It will be valuable to examine this policy path taken by the US in the context and evaluate whether such could be effective in the future.

Panda, Ankit. 2021. “Biden’s Next Steps on North Korea Contain a Dose of Realism.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Web.

The author of this article is a recognized and accoladed international security expert, with significant experience in policy, research, and academia. North Korea is one of his primary specializations as he has written multiple books and articles on the topic. The publication is also released by the Carnegie Endowment Institute, where Panda is a senior fellow. The article itself is a scathing analysis of Joe Biden’s approach to North Korea since he took office. This article will be absolutely critical to ongoing events and examination of the current administration because there is such limited information available from the White House itself. The article provides an in-depth breakdown on what is known and what actions are taken by the administration. It also goes into analysis of policy providing its recommendations on potential solutions across the various issues on attempting to normalize foreign policy with North Korea. There are also extensive discussions in the article regarding denuclearization in terms of its potential stages and policy means to achieve something so monumental, or at least try to begin the process without destabilizing the security of the whole peninsula. Overall, this article will be valuable in the research in the context of current administration and policy efforts being made.

Revere, Evans J.R. 2018. “U.S. Policy and Pyongyang’s Game Plan: Will We Accept a Nuclear-Armed North Korea?” Brookings Foreign Policy. Web.

The author of this publication Evans Revere is a senior fellow and East Asia specialist at the Brookings institute. He has a range of practical and academic experience as most senior fellows and commonly contributes to the research and discussions of North Korea. Brookings Institution is a highly respected think tank and research group, providing accurate and objective research publications on a variety of policy and governance topics. As with many articles on the topic, this one emphasizes the largely failure and ineffectiveness of policy approaches up to date to North Korea, even after the highly unorthodox and first-of-its-kind meeting between Pres. Trump and Kim Jung-un. Therefore, Revere brings up the possibility, which potentially may be a pragmatic reality, that North Korea may be sooner or later a nuclear nation, and the US may have to accept that, lest of sudden breakthroughs in diplomatic approaches or a tremendously devastating military conflict on the peninsula. The author spends significant time examining nuclearization and denuclearization efforts in North Korea, highlighting the factors that have contributed to building up the current status quo. It is emphasized that the administrations currently need to drastically change their stagnant and non-effective approaches to North Korea, offering suggestions, including in the case that no solution will be found prior to the weapon being created.

Wertz, Daniel. 2018. “Issue Brief: The U.S., North Korea, and Nuclear Diplomacy” The National Committee on North Korea. Web.

The report is written and compiled by Daniel Wertz who is a lead program manager and writer at the National Committee on North Korea, an NGO which also published this publication. The author is now well-known but has some publications and the NGO is highly focused on North Korea-US relations, so there is definitely potential in the validity and informational value of this research. The report at its core, aims to capture the history, nature, attitudes, stakeholders, risks, and formidable policy in the complex interactions between the US and North Korea with the attempts to conduct nuclear diplomacy at the highest levels. The report is systemic, highly organized, and detailed, breaking down all information in an accessible manner and seeking to emphasize even the most basic details, such as goals for the sides involved, their respective risks and views. The report discusses the U.S. diplomatic strategy used to create and negotiate policy approaches and the in-depth frameworks used to drive the policy implementation. Overall, the report contains absolute depths of knowledge regarding the relationships between two countries and the use of policy in many ways in order to achieve the US goals and long-term objectives. It will likely serve as a core reference throughout the paper to support a range of conclusions and objective arguments.

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DemoEssays. "Researching of U.S. Policy toward North Korea." July 16, 2023.