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Strategic Alert: Breaking the deadlock - Policy options for dealing with North Korea

November 22nd 2017 - 15:00

The ongoing crisis between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the international community represents a textbook case of coercive diplomacy. The international community sought to coerce North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs. So far, all efforts failed. The election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States has created a new and more dangerous dynamic. In contrast to his predecessors, Trump does not seek a multinational solution and has turned the crisis into a personal contest between him and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, while ignoring the interests of other powers. As President Trump has few, if any, options for breaking the stalemate, this Alert argues that personalizing the conflict is very risky. As a matter of fact, for the first time in history a tweet could trigger a major crisis.

This Alert analyses the present standoff and explains how threats and harassments could escalate.

Access the alert here online. 

Or download the PDF.

Rob de Wijk is the founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Professor of International Relations and Security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. He studied Contemporary History and International Relations at Groningen University, and wrote his PhD dissertation on NATO’s ‘Flexibility in Response’ strategy at the Political Science Department of Leiden University. Prof.