Presentation Title

Post-Soviet United States Presidential Administrations and Their Contribution to the Nuclear Development of North Korea

Faculty Mentor

David G. Nelson

Start Date

17-11-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 2:15 PM

Location

C305

Session

Oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

The nuclear development of the Korean Peninsula in the latter half of the twentieth century constitutes a significant international concern. The advancement of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear weapon program represents a renewal of Cold War period fears rooted in the communist and anti-American origins of the region. The United States presence in the Peninsula remains the driving motivation behind these advancements in the period between 1991 and 2018 following the fall of the Soviet Union. The North’s relationship with nuclear weapons has been fostered and at times aided by the US and its failure to affect meaningful and measurable progress. The inconsistent foreign policies and the failure to enforce and meet the stipulations of agreements between the US and North Korea by the post-Soviet era United States Presidential administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama allowed for the modern nuclear development of North Korea and its pursuit of recognition as a legitimate nation.

This paper addresses an understudied relationship between the DPRK and the United States in which the US is a key motivator and enabler of North Korean nuclear infrastructure and development in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This paper argues that US Presidential Administrations inability to maintain and enforce agreements such as the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the 1994 Agreed Framework, and the dramatically dissimilar post-9/11 2002 Bush Doctrine resulted in the DPRK’s easy access to nuclear materials as well as the providing of the means to weaponize such materials.

This study examines legislative documents, international agency documents, corporate agreement records, state financial records, and newspaper articles to evaluate the extent to which US Presidential policies permeate and inform the history of the DPRK’s nuclear progression in the modern era.

Summary of research results to be presented

The inconsistent and poorly executed foreign policies of US Presidents following the fall of the Soviet Union substantially contributed to the nuclearization of the DPRK. The US both directly and indirectly enabled the procurement and development of nuclear materials. This understanding fundamentally changes the way historians will approach the review of the relationship between the US and the DPRK as well as the way the DPRK is defined by their accumulation of nuclear arms.

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Nov 17th, 2:00 PM Nov 17th, 2:15 PM

Post-Soviet United States Presidential Administrations and Their Contribution to the Nuclear Development of North Korea

C305

The nuclear development of the Korean Peninsula in the latter half of the twentieth century constitutes a significant international concern. The advancement of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear weapon program represents a renewal of Cold War period fears rooted in the communist and anti-American origins of the region. The United States presence in the Peninsula remains the driving motivation behind these advancements in the period between 1991 and 2018 following the fall of the Soviet Union. The North’s relationship with nuclear weapons has been fostered and at times aided by the US and its failure to affect meaningful and measurable progress. The inconsistent foreign policies and the failure to enforce and meet the stipulations of agreements between the US and North Korea by the post-Soviet era United States Presidential administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama allowed for the modern nuclear development of North Korea and its pursuit of recognition as a legitimate nation.

This paper addresses an understudied relationship between the DPRK and the United States in which the US is a key motivator and enabler of North Korean nuclear infrastructure and development in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This paper argues that US Presidential Administrations inability to maintain and enforce agreements such as the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the 1994 Agreed Framework, and the dramatically dissimilar post-9/11 2002 Bush Doctrine resulted in the DPRK’s easy access to nuclear materials as well as the providing of the means to weaponize such materials.

This study examines legislative documents, international agency documents, corporate agreement records, state financial records, and newspaper articles to evaluate the extent to which US Presidential policies permeate and inform the history of the DPRK’s nuclear progression in the modern era.