Despite the volatility and unpredictability North Korea has come to symbolize in international diplomacy and security issues, it represents only half of the potential danger on the Korean peninsula. In a notable departure from its past role as guarantor of stability on the Korean peninsula, the United States has, under the stewardship of the Bush administration, come to be regarded as, at best, an obstacle to peace and security, and at worst a potential trigger for hostility. The most immediate result of this shift on the Korean peninsula has been the US failure to undertake an effective policy formulation process, which has manifested itself (on both sides of the 38th parallel) in more reactive and convulsive responses to challenges from the North Korean regime. Without such understanding there is little hope of advancing discussions or resolving North Korea's nuclear program. Fundamental to understanding North Korea's endgame is realizing that its nuclear weapons program, while menacing, is unlikely to be used offensively without major provocation; it functions as a tool of its diplomacymissile diplomacyto ensure survival of the regime.
Working closely with South Korea, the United States must ensure that any potential resolution reached on North Korea's nuclear program does not undermine its longer-term objectives for securing broader peace and security on the Korean peninsula. Ideally, any resolution brokered over the North's nuclear weapons program will provide a synergistic effect in addressing the conventional war threat posed by North Korea on the Korean peninsula. In short, the United States must undertake constructive engagement. Steadfast unwillingness to engage with North Korea only provides more fodder for the regime to stall any action, and, as part of its endgame, makes U.S. behavior the issue. the issue, which is part of its endgame.
About the Author
Jacques L. Fuqua, Jr., a retired US Army Officer, serves as Director of International Engagement at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). He has authored numerous journal and newspaper articles on Korean peninsula and U.S.-Japanese security issues and has participated in various television and radio interviews discussing the North Korean nuclear issue. He researches and teaches courses on East Asian security and the diplomatic/security history of Korea. Prior to his current posting, Fuqua served as Associate Director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University (Bloomington). He retired from the U.S. Army in February 2000 as a Lieutenant Colonel (Northeast Asia Foreign Area Officer) after 21 years of active duty service.
What People are Saying About This
"This book provides a long overdue, fresh look at a very old problem. Jacques' analysis and explanation of the juche ideology is one of the best in publication today, and correctly assess and aptly explains that any successful negotiation with North Korea will depend heavily on our understanding of how North Korea perceives the world through the juche philosophy. His prescription for resolving the North Korean nuclear dilemma is both tough and practical, and if implemented, could substantially move the U.S. forward in resolving our security concerns with this reclusive communist state. A must read for policy makers at all levels of government and for any student of northeast Asia security strategy."
"I heartily commend Jacques' work. His book could not be more timely in the wake of North Korea's recent nuclear weapons test. Jacques' well researched book should be must reading for the Bush administration as well as for serious students who have heard a lot about the North Korean situation but have had little opportunity to examine the facts on the ground."
"Mr. Fuqua's work is not another recitation of the conventional wisdom about North Korea, often found in mainstream media. His unique book explains the reasons for current North Korean diplomatic and military issues and suggests what might be done to resolve these concerns."