Bringing it all to the table : examining variance in strategic approaches within the six-party talk
Author(s)Zahorchak, Jason M
Examining variance in strategic approaches within the six-party talk
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Richard J. Samuels.
MetadataShow full item record
In the approaches seen at the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, why did states faced with the same security problem adopt different strategies? Answering this question will bring understanding to why the process has proceeded in fits and starts, as the countries negotiating with Pyongyang - China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States - often struggle to coordinate strategy in their quest to resolve a grave issue of international security. This paper approaches the question by taking up three possible drivers behind strategy among the five negotiating countries - realist calculations, domestic political institutions, and national identity - and, tracing each country's strategy within the talks, identifies the most likely of these drivers for each state. This study finds that while the United States, China, and Russia bring primarily realist concerns to the table, they employ separate strategies toward the North Korean nuclear issue, reflecting differing drivers and goals. In addition, South Korea and Japan see their strategies driven by issues related to national identity and domestic politics. In looking at the origins of these drivers, this study finds that China's realist drive stems largely from its particular vision of economic and geopolitical growth; Japan's push for a resolution to the kidnapping issue stems from politicians' aim for domestic political popularity made easier through Japan's lack of a history of relations with North Korea; Russia's realist drive derives from the Putin-led push to regain a semblance of its historical sphere of influence;(cont.) South Korea's focus on peninsular engagement comes from a renewed nationalism, its legacy as a "divided nation," and a reimagining of the North Korea threat; and the United States' concentration on realist factors is derived from unique aspects of the post-September 11, 2001 security environment as well as a reassertion of regional goals that underscores U.S.-China competition.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2009.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology