Coercion or Engagement? A Quantitative Test of the Effect of Regional Actors on North Korean Behaviour 1990–2000

Davies, Graeme A. M.
August 2007
British Journal of Politics & International Relations;Aug2007, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p477
Academic Journal
The Korean peninsula is one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Decisions relating to the peninsula are for high stakes, and one small error can potentially result in an enormously destructive war. This article seeks to assess whether strategies of engagement or coercion can improve the chances of North Korea co-operating with either the US or South Korea. Using Vector Autoregression (VAR) techniques I assess the behavioural patterns of the North Korean regime in response to the actions of the states involved in the six-party talks between 1990 and 2000. The article finds that there were dramatic differences between the negotiating strategies employed by both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in their dealings with both the US and South Korea. The results suggest that, in being able to manipulate US foreign policy, the North Koreans are punching well above their weight and that the chances of a meaningful settlement with the regime of Kim Jong Il are very small.


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