Purpose—This article considers North Korea and the notion of crisis, by linking
historical development over the Korean peninsula to the conflict resolution literature, and investigates why despite a large number of destabilizing events, a war involving Pyongyang has yet to erupt.
Design/methodology—This article uses historical data and a framework developed by Aggarwal et al., in order to highlight patterns of interaction between states such as the United States, North Korea and South Korea, organizations such as the United Nations, as well as processes such as the Six- Party Talks and the Agreed
Framework. The article then develops a crisis framework based on conflict resolution and negotiation literature, and applies it to three North Korean administrations.
Findings—Findings suggest that an open- ended understanding of time (for all
parties involved on the peninsula) leads to an impossibility to reach a threshold
where full- scale war would be triggered, thus leaving parties in a stable state of crisis for which escalating moves and de- escalating techniques might become irrelevant.
Practical implications—It is hoped that this article will help further endeavors
linking conflict resolution theoretical frameworks to the Korean peninsula security situation. In the case of the Korean peninsula, time has been understood as open-ended, leading parties to a lingering state of heightened hostilities that oscillates toward war, but that is controlled enough not to reach it. In-depth analysis of particular security sectors such as nuclear energy, food security, or missile testing would prove particularly useful in understanding the complexity of the Korean peninsula situation to a greater extent. It is hoped that this paper will help further endeavours linking conflict resolution theoretical frameworks to the Korean peninsula security situation.
Originality/value—This research suggests that regarding the Korean peninsula,
time has been understood as open- ended, leading parties to a lingering state of heightened.
|Number of pages
|North Korean Review
|Published - Sept 2015
- conflict resolution
- North Korea
- Korean peninsula