Ten Years of Dealing with Kim Jong Il: Can Negotiations Ensure Conflict Resolution?
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This study investigates the tumultuous negotiation relationship between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States, from Kim Jong Il's accession to power in 1994 to the historic but short-lived September 19, 2005 agreement. The purpose of this work is to gain understanding regarding North Korea's negotiation strategies, in order to bring contributions to the literature on negotiation, rogue states, and Northeast Asia. The literature lacks a clear understanding of how North Korea has been operating since 1994, at which time Kim Il Sung passed away and power was assumed by his son, Kim Jong Il. Gaining a clear understanding of what has happened under the Kim Jong Il Administration leads to the construction of a comprehensive analysis of all the different bilateral and multilateral negotiation episodes that have occurred between the United States and North Korea from 1994 to 2005. Those episodes range from such diverse issues as two weeks of bilateral talks to free an American pilot who crashed by accident on North Korea territory in December 1994 to years of nuclear talks). This research is qualitative in nature and based on archival and media resources, as well as interviews conducted with those who served under several different administrations in the United States and in Korea, Japan, and China, as well as scholars, politicians and negotiators. The study concludes that there is a distinctive North Korean negotiation strategy, but that this strategy is increasing in complexity and is highly dependent on the United States' position in the world. North Korea is also revealed as a strategic, non-random player that will only rarely compromise on its red line.