CWIHP Senior Associate Kathryn Weathersby delivers a presentation at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies of the George Washington University

Feb 08, 2006

Senior Associate Kathryn Weathersby presented some of the findings of HAPP's North Korea International Documentation Project at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies of the George Washington University on Wednesday, February 08, 2006. In a talk titled "Roots of North Korean Antagonism: Insights from Communist Archives," she outlined some of the most significant patterns in DPRK relations with other countries, particularly with its allies, in an effort to understand why Pyongyang's actions are characterized by such sharp antagonism and mistrust. While there is much current discussion about the need to draw the DPRK into the international community, she emphasized that North Korea was firmly embedded in the international community of the communist world from its inception in 1948 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Paired with the legacy of vast destruction at the hands of the United States during the Korean War, North Korea's experience of relations with its allies was a painful combination of economic and military dependence that constrained Pyongyang's ability to carry out an independent foreign policy, with repeated betrayals and threats that persuaded the Kim Il Sung leadership that it could not firmly rely on support from any other state.