Book written by 2006 Abe Fellow Narushige Michishita based on his project “Assessing the Policy Effectiveness: North Korea’s Brinkmanship Diplomacy and the Regional Response.”
This book examines North Korea’s nuclear diplomacy over a long time period from the early 1960s, setting its dangerous brinkmanship in the wider context of North Korea’s military and diplomatic campaigns to achieve its political goals. It argues that the last four decades of military adventurism demonstrates Pyongyang’s consistent, calculated use of military tools to advance strategic objectives vis à vis its adversaries. It shows how recent behavior of the North Korean government is entirely consistent with its behavior over this longer period: the North Korean government’s conduct (rather than being haphazard or reactive) is rational – in the Clausewitzian sense of being ready to use force as an extension of diplomacy by other means. The book goes on to demonstrate that North Korea’s “calculated adventurism” has come full circle: what we are seeing now is a modified repetition of earlier events – such as the Pueblo incident of 1968 and the nuclear and missile diplomacy of the 1990s. Using extensive interviews in the United States and South Korea, including those with defected North Korean government officials, alongside newly declassified first-hand material from U.S., South Korean, and former Communist-bloc archives, the book argues that whilst North Korea’s military-diplomatic campaigns have intensified, its policy objectives have become more conservative and are aimed at regime survival, normalization of relations with the United States and Japan, and obtaining economic aid.