Explaining North Korean Nuclear Weapons Motivations: Constructivism, Liberalism, and Realism
Nah, Liang Tuang
Date of Issue2013
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This article explains that key to understanding North Korean nuclear weapons motivations is the application of the explanatory frameworks of constructivism, liberalism, and realism to different time periods in North Korea: 1964 to 1994 (realism), 1991 to 2007 (liberalism), and 1991, 1994, and 2011 (constructivism). Notably, these periods coincide with the perceived security threat from South Korean-based U.S. nuclear arms until the erosion of Soviet support, the North Korean economic crisis and the value of nuclear weapons as an international-aid bargaining chip, and the expedience of nuclear disarmament. A realist approach toward North Korea from the 1990s to the present would be counterproductive, as the state has hardened itself against its adversaries and simultaneously needs economic and civil aid.
North Korean Review
© 2013 McFarland & Company, Inc.