North Korea’s Nuclear Program through the Lens of Strategıc Culture

ULUSLARARASI İLİŞKİLER, VOLUME 16, NUMBER 61, 2019 

Emine AKÇADAĞ ALAGÖZ*

ABSTRACT

This paper presents an application of the concept of strategic culture as a possible way to analyze North Korea’s nuclear program. The goal is to illustrate that the strategic culture approach is a useful method to understand North Korea’s determination to develop nuclear capability, demonstrating the link between culture and behavior through Alastair Johnston’s methodology. The question of the formation of a North Korean strategic culture will be scrutinized through scoring the speeches and written messages of three North Korean leaders in terms of the presence of key cultural assumptions. Then, it will accordingly suggest that North Korea’s strategic culture, affecting the practices of its security policy, leads this country toward an active defense strategy, which implies a credible nuclear deterrence.

Keywords: Active Defense, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, Nuclear Program, Strategic Culture

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* Assist. Prof. Dr., Department of Political Science and International Relations, İstanbul Gelişim University, İstanbul.

 


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