Stephanie Faulkner uses post-Cold War US foreign policy towards North Korea as a basis for understanding the implicit US policy on Korean reunification. Through a comparative analysis of the Clinton and the Obama administrations, this paper analyzes the determinants of the Clinton administration’s engagement approach and the Obama administration’s “strategic patience” policy by employing Kenneth Waltz’ “three images” of international relations and Robert Putnam’s two-level game approach. These theories highlight three factors that facilitated the Clinton administration’s path towards engagement with North Korea and three elements that dissuaded President Obama from initiating dialogue with “rogue regimes,” such as North Korea, and from pursuing a more engagement policy reminiscent of President Clinton’s engagement policy.

Read “US Foreign Policy and Korean Reunification,” by Stephanie Faulkner

Stephanie Faulkner is a second-year M.A. student at SAIS, concentrating

in International Economics and American Foreign Policy. Growing up in Uijeongbu, South Korea, she developed an interest in US relations with the two Koreas. Her passion for US foreign policy towards the Korean peninsula culminated in her undergraduate internship at the Wilson Center, where she worked with former South Korean General Hongkee Lee on his research project involving the US-South Korean military alliance and its bilateral decision-making process in times of crises. Paired with her internship, she pursued her own research project evaluating the explanatory power of international relations theories in addressing the question of how the US-ROK alliance outlasted the dissolution of its raison d’être. With this background and passion, Stephanie enrolled in the Korean Reunification course to research an understated aspect of US foreign policy towards the Korean peninsula—US policy on Korean reunification.

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