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Editor's Spotlight: North Korea and the West

Volume 119 - Number 2 - Summer 2004

The Debate over North Korea
VICTOR D. CHA AND DAVID C. KANG debate the strengths and weaknesses of an engagement policy to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program. From different perspectives, the two authors analyze common misconceptions about North Korean intentions and strategies as well as debate the merits of a harder-line approach taken by the United States toward the reclusive regime. Whether one views Pyongyang’s intentions with greater skepticism (Cha) or greater flexibility (Kang), the authors argue that some form of engagement, not military preemption, is advisable.


Volume 117 - Number 2 - Summer 2002

North Korea's Weapons of Mass Destruction: Badges, Shields, or Swords?
Victor D. Cha examines the question about relative merits of engaging or containing North Korea that has resurfaced after President Bush's "axis of evil" statements. The author argues that this policy question cannot be answered without an understanding of the strategic doctrine behind North Korea's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities.


Volume 114 - Number 2 - Summer 1999

The United States and South Korean Democratization
James Fowler draws on interviews with State Department officials and recently declassified documents to analyze the role of the United States in South Korea's democratization, concluding that U.S. public pressure on the Korean government played a critical role in determining the timing of the transition.


Volume 83 - Number 1 - March 1968

Dean Acheson and the Korean War
David S. McLellan analyzes why fundamentally cautious and calculating Secretary of State Dean Acheson agreed to permit the United Nations forces to undertake the unification of all Korea. He argues that Acheson misjudged the intentions of Peking and mistakenly shared the prevailing confidence that MacArthur could accomplish his mission and that Chinese intervention, if it did occur, could be contained within a buffer zone. He concludes that Acheson failed to keep Truman adequately informed of both the political and the military risks, which ultimately led the President to allow MacArthur to advance.


Volume 78 - Number 1 - March 1963

The Limiting Process in the Korean War
Morton H. Halperin explores why and how the Korean War remained limited in the nuclear-missile age. He suggests that in addition to contributing to an evaluation of an important event in the cold war, the study should be of value in analyzing other local wars, past and future. 


Volume 73 - Number 3 - September 1958

The United Nations, the United States Occupation and the 1948 Election in Korea
Leon Gordenker examines the Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK), a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly, that greatly influenced the preparations for and conduct of the 1948 election in Korea.  He argues that despite a likely attack from North Korea, UNTCOK, with the support of the United States, allowed Koreans south of the thirty-eight parallel to go to the polls and begin to put together their own government. 


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Demetrios James Caraley

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North Korea's Weapons of Mass Destruction: Badges, Shields, or Swords?

Victor D. Cha examines the question about relative merits of engaging or containing North Korea.

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