North Korea

Denny Roy

in Return of the Dragon

Published by Columbia University Press

Published in print July 2013 | ISBN: 9780231159005
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780231528153 | DOI:
North Korea

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This chapter examines the tension between China and the United States over nuclear proliferation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), more commonly known as North Korea. When it comes to North Korea, China's behavior is not aggressive but passive-aggressive. China refuses to join with the United States and other governments in the disciplining of a state that threatens international stability. China's actions are not directly threatening to the system or to other states. Indeed, China ostensibly takes the role of moderator and peacemaker. As Beijing realizes, this is not sufficient cause for states to increase their balancing against China. Nevertheless, the net effect of China's North Korea policy on international security is negative. A stronger China is more capable of shielding outlaw states that threaten peace if it chooses to do so, as it has in the nuclear weapons crises involving Iran and North Korea. Beijing has supported denuclearization, but only within certain conditions.

Keywords: nuclear proliferation; China; United States; North Korea; international security; nuclear weapons; Iran; denuclearization

Chapter.  6423 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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