11 Jan They Think They’re Normal: North Korea beyond the Nuclear Crisis
David C. Kang (International Relations,USC)
Wednesday, January 11 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room HSSB 6020
North Korea remains both a practical problem and an intellectual puzzle,with actions that sometimes appear self-defeating,aggressive,and unpredictable. This talk will make two overarching arguments that help make sense of North Korea. First, North Korea is more “normal” than is often expected, and its domestic politics, economy, and society function in ways familiar to, if not exactly identical to, other countries around the world. The institutions, economic life, and most importantly, the human beings who live in North Korea act and function in ways that are not only similar to the ways many people around the world live and act, but differ from them only by degree. Second, North Korea’s continuing nuclear and military challenge is only one aspect of its overall relations with the world, and policies designed to affect its security policy may work at cross-purposes with policies designed to affect its economy and lives of its people. The complexities that arise in dealing with North Korea lead to a number of contradictory policy choices, and making progress in one issue area has often meant overlooking a different issue area or even allowing it to worsen.
Sponsored by Center for Cold War Studies.