Understanding the North Korea Problem: Why It Has Become the "Land of Lousy Options"

  • July 01, 2011
  • COL William A Boik

This monograph provides a timely analysis and thoughtful insights into the challenges faced by the United States in developing a strategy for North Korea. The author examines the complex history of U.S. policy toward North Korea over the last decade that has left the United States in a position of having virtually no influence over the country. He addresses the complicated regional concerns and interests of North Korea’s neighbors and how these concerns impact on each of their approaches to North Korea. Most importantly, he looks at how the North Korean culture and history have influenced the attitudes of North Korean society and their relationship with other countries. He concludes by pointing out that despite the numerous challenges, the United States must develop a strategy focused on engaging Pyongyang if we expect to have any influence over the future direction of events in North Korea.