The foreign policy of the United States of America toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly known as North Korea, has an important role in maintaining the peace, stability, and security of Eastern Asia. From the partition of the Korean peninsula following World War II to the country's development of nuclear weapons, the foreign policy of the U.S. had to evolve based on the circumstances in North Korea. The United States, along with China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, have key roles surrounding the discussions with North Korea. The thesis focuses solely on the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama; these men had the greatest impact on U.S. foreign policy with North Korea. The thesis takes a qualitative approach of research by using primarily government documents, historical records from presidential administrations, articles from foreign policy journals, and books by foreign policy experts. Throughout the research, two common themes of U.S. relations toward North Korea emerge, uncertainty and defiance. North Korea's secretive regime makes it difficult for U.S. presidential administrations to determine the intentions of North Korea's actions. Furthermore, the uncertainty often leads to defiant and aggressive actions by North Korea. From the USS Pueblo crisis to the bombing of Yeonpyeong Island, presidential administrations had to walk a fine line of responding with aggression, negotiations, or appeasement. The thesis examines not only the options and implementations of each presidential administration, but also looks toward possible solutions for maintaining peace and stability in Eastern Asia by improving relations with North Korea.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Derewiany, Andrew, "U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea 1945 to present" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1118.