North Korea and the Science of Provocation

Fifty Years of Conflict-Making


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About the Book

Why does North Korea routinely turn to provocation to achieve foreign policy goals? Are the actions of the volatile Kim regime predictable, based on logical responses to the conditions faced by North Korea? This book, an examination of the “Hermit Kingdom” over the past 50 years, explains why the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea uses hostility and coercion as instruments of foreign policy. Using three case studies and quantitative analysis of more than 2,000 conflict events, the author explores the relationship between North Korea’s societal conditions and its propensity for external conflict. These findings are considered in light of diversionary theory, the idea that leaders use external conflict to divert attention from domestic affairs. Analyzing the actions of an isolated state such as North Korea provides a template for conflict scholarship in general.

About the Author(s)

Robert Daniel Wallace, Ph.D., has been a member of the U.S. Department of Defense for almost 30 years. This is his second book on North Korean conflict issues.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Daniel Wallace
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9969-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2314-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables viii

List of Acronyms ix

Preface 1

Introduction 9

1. North Korea’s Hostile Foreign Policy Actions (1948–1961) 19

2. Introduction and First Case (North Korea Emerges) 35

3. The Arduous March: North Korea’s Great Famine 72

4. Regime Succession and Case Comparisons 103

5. Hostile Foreign Policy Event Analysis 142

6. Comparisons and Conclusions 176

Appendix A. Azar’s Event Categories 185

Appendix B. Korean Conflict Dataset 187

Appendix C. Map of the Korean Peninsula 195

Chapter Notes 197

Bibliography 205

Index 251