Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations
NKIDP Working Paper #1, “Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations,” written by Charles K. Armstrong (Columbia University), follows North Korea’s expansion of diplomatic and economic ties both within and outside of the socialist bloc from the late 1960s into the early 1980s.
Drawing from Hungarian and German archival documents, CIA records, and publications from North and South Korea, Armstrong argues that:
- The eventual decline of North Korea’s Third World diplomacy and the promotion of juche as a developmental model reflected the contradiction between North Korea’s juche policy and the necessary requirements of active engagement in the international system;
- North Korea’s First World diplomacy and attempts at economic engagement with advanced capitalist countries did not result in deep and extensive linkages between North Korea and the West, nor did they give much long-term benefit to either side;
- North Korea could only engage comfortably with the wider world if it had the economic, military, and political support of the socialist camp, therefore the collapse of the socialist bloc led to the ultimate failure of North Korea’s pursuit of globalization.
Appended to NKIDP Working Paper #1 are three translated documents from Hungarian and German archives that allow scholars and students to gain insight into how North Korea’s foreign relations with both socialist and non-socialist countries developed and changed from the late 1960s into the early 1980s.
To download “Juche and North Korea’s Global Aspirations,” or to view the documents included in the article, please see the links below.
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About the Author
North Korea International Documentation Project
The North Korea International Documentation Project serves as an informational clearinghouse on North Korea for the scholarly and policymaking communities, disseminating documents on the DPRK from its former communist allies that provide valuable insight into the actions and nature of the North Korean state. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. Read more
Cold War International History Project
The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. Read more
History and Public Policy Program
The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs. Read more