This working paper series seeks to provide a historical overview of North Korea’s foreign relations. Each paper in the series examines the ways in which the country’s relationship with a foreign country has influenced, and has been shaped by, its understanding of juche. Also, each study analyzes the degree to which juche has had an enduring impact on the North’s foreign policy behavior; at the same time it illustrates the ways in which Pyongyang has changed its policy in response to new developments in domestic and international arenas. Sometimes juche imposes an inflexible constraint on the extent to which Pyongyang’s diplomacy can be flexible; other times it functions as a useful overarching principle under which pragmatic changes are justified. The central analytical question then is about the politics of principle and flexibility: what is the degree to which the North’s juche foreign policy is flexible enough to accommodate changes? What is the extent to which juche is the inviolable principle? What are the circumstances under which juche becomes flexible? When does it become inflexible?
The series explores these analytical questions in the historical context of a set of bilateral relationships. It remains sensitive to peculiarities of each relationship while it also aspires to identify commonalities and patterns among North Korea’s relationships. Each paper may choose to highlight a particular period that has produced a lasting impact or started a major departure; but it will situate that period or episode within the overall history of the bilateral relationship.
WPS 08-8: Dependence and Mistrust: North Korea's Relations with Moscow and the Evolution of Juche, by Kathryn Weathersby, Ph.D. (December 2008). In this paper, Dr. Weathersby [Read More]
WPS 08-6: Japan and North Korea: The Long and Twisted Path towards Normalcy, by Gavan McCormack, Ph.D. (December 2008). In this paper, Dr. McCormack discusses the diplomatic [Read More]
WPS 08-9: Alliance of "Tooth and Lips" or Marriage of Convenience? The Origins and Development of the Sino-North Korean Alliance, 1946-1958, by Shen Zhi-Hua (December 2008). In [Read More]
WPS 08-3: Necessary Enemies: Anti-Americanism, Juche Ideology, and the Tortuous Path to Normalization, by Charles Armstrong, Ph.D. (September 2008). In this paper, Dr. Armstrong [Read More]