North Korea

An isolationist nuclear state

Authored by: Balbina Y. Hwang

Handbook of Nuclear Proliferation

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  February  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857436044
eBook ISBN: 9780203840849
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780203840849-16

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Abstract

The Korean Peninsula’s unique position located directly at the geographic intersection of the strategic interests of the four great powers in East Asia – China, Russia, Japan, and the USA – has ensured that geopolitical concerns are dominant in determining the national and foreign policies of the two Koreas that currently occupy the divided peninsula. Although it was a unified and proudly independent kingdom for 1,300 years, geography has dealt Korea many tragic blows throughout its history: it has suffered some 900 invasions great and small, and five major periods of occupation under China, the Mongolian Empire, Japan and, after the Second World War, the USA (in the south) and the Soviet Union (in the north).

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