North Korea’s Foreign Policy

The Kim Jong-un Regime in a Hostile World

A robust examination of North Korean foreign policy under Kim Jong-un, including its domestic drivers, summitry diplomacy, and nuclear program.

Book
Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

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North Korea

Kim Jong-un

Nuclear Weapons

Since Kim Jong-un’s assumption of power in December 2011, North Korea has undergone expanded nuclear development, political isolation, and economic stagnation. Kim’s early prioritization of the byungjin policy, simultaneous economic and military or nuclear development, highlighted his goal of transforming North Korea’s domestic economic circumstances and strengthening its position in the world as a nuclear state. The central dilemma shaping Kim Jong-un’s foreign policy throughout his first decade in power revolves around ensuring North Korea’s prosperity and security while sustaining the political isolation and control necessary for regime survival. In order to evaluate North Korea’s foreign policy under Kim, this volume will examine the impact of domestic factors that have influenced the formation and implementation of Kim’s foreign policy, Kim’s distinctive use of summitry and effectiveness of such meetings as an instrument by which to attain foreign policy goals, and the impact of international responses to North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities on North Korea’s foreign policy.

More on:

North Korea

Kim Jong-un

Nuclear Weapons

Reviews and Endorsements

For those wondering what the legacy and lessons of the Trump-Kim meetings and "love letters" are, or why successive American and South Korean policies toward North Korea never seem to work, this book's impressive set of authors serves up fresh thinking and detail about what drives Pyongyang, and Kim Jong Un. It is an essential resource for understanding the first ten years of Kim Jong Un, for thinking about where North Korea might be headed, and how we can shape more effective policy approaches.

Kathleen Stephens, Former United States Ambassador to South Korea

An important read co-authored by one of our nation’s top scholars of modern North Korea, whose insights and advice were invaluable during the most recent chapter of negotiations with North Korea.

Stephen E Biegun, Former United States Special Representative for North Korea, 2018-2021

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