The Koreas, Bastion of Cold War Realism

In which I reluctantly defend neorealism as a grand theory applicable to the security situation in North East Asia: Rather than asserting that realism or its offshoots are the ultimate International Relations grand theories, I suggest that neorealism remains a crucial aspect of IR security … Continue readingThe Koreas, Bastion of Cold War Realism

King, Wu, B-52: A Tense Moment In US-DPRK History

I wrote some very niche US-DPRK history (with a lot of help from scholars more senior) about a lost moment for potential reconciliation in 2013. Once more it seems that unsubtle displays of military might trump all other tools of diplomacy: on the Korean Peninsula, … Continue readingKing, Wu, B-52: A Tense Moment In US-DPRK History

Is North Korea a Rational Actor?

The question “Is North Korea a rational actor?” is ubiquitous throughout both academic work and media speculation on East Asian security. Coloring the DPRK crazy does little to address security concerns or provide useful analysis of the multiple security crises on the Korean peninsula, instead serving only to support a narrative that promotes political policy that has already determined the DPRK to be irrational. The alternative argument is that North Korea is knowable, and that we are asking the wrong questions. … Continue readingIs North Korea a Rational Actor?

New Nuclear Initiative talk by Women in War and International Politics

Yesterday evening in the Kings College Maughan Library was a two-part event by Women in War and International Politics on being a woman in nuclear studies and so-called New Nuclear Initiatives. … Continue readingNew Nuclear Initiative talk by Women in War and International Politics

Newly Declassified Able Archer 83 Documents

The possibility for nuclear war was at an all-time high in 1983, rivaling the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis: the Soviets had just shot down the civilian Korean flight KAL-007, and Reagan gave his manichean “evil empire” speech. Able Archer 83, the 1983 NATO command post exercise … Continue readingNewly Declassified Able Archer 83 Documents

The Rationale Behind North Korean Nuclearization

A Primer on Pyongyang’s Nuclear History and the Ensuing Diplomatic Failures – North Korea pursued nuclear weapons to ensure security in a hostile international environment. During the Cold War, the threat shifted from conventional military aggression to nuclear aggression. The security dilemma was at an … Continue readingThe Rationale Behind North Korean Nuclearization

“Tailored Deterrence”

At the 45th Security Consultative Meeting this past week, US Defense Secretary Hagel and South Korean Minister of Defense Kim Kwan Jin announced a bilateral “tailored deterrence” strategy regarding the North. The Joint Communiqué released after the meeting states that the two nations “reaffirmed” their alliance … Continue reading“Tailored Deterrence”