North Korea

The United States has been presented a dilemma towards its foreign policy with
the Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea (North Korea). North Koreaís
alleged launch of a new Taepo-Dong I missile on August 31, 1998 has heightened

American worries and escalated an already tense situation with North Korea. The

United States response towards this new missile, which could possibly be able to
reach the edges of both Alaska and Hawaii , will be a factor in its decision on
whether or not to continue to finance support towards North Korea. New sanctions
could mean the collapse of a weak North Korean economy. Already on the brink of
economic and political collapse, the loss of U.S. and KEDO aid could push them
over the edge and into political ruin. One major factor involved in the foreign
policy decision is the collapse of North Korea. It could mean one of three
things: Implosion (collapse of the state), explosion (war with South Korea) or
absorption (reform and reunification). In May 1997, acting Director of Central

Intelligence, George Tenet, stated, "One of the things that worries us most is
an implosion internally." The result of an implosion, the collapse of the
state, would be hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to China and South

Korea. China has already begun stepping up troops at the North Korean border to
halt the flow of refugees should this happen. South Korea would possibly use
force to deter refugees to the south. Another factor here is the humanitarian
influences. Massive floods, droughts and typhoons since 1995 have forced North

Korea to accept international food aid. Widespread famine has reportedly killed
hundreds of thousands of people. This acceptance is contrary to the North Korean
governmentís policy of "juche" or self-reliance . It is feared that the
government of North Korea is diverting scarce food sources from the civilian
sector to its military, even at a time of humanitarian crisis . A third factor
is the general flow of our foreign policy towards North Korea. Since 1994, we
have been implementing constructive engagement with North Korea. The Agreed

Framework was a barter system where the United States would provide economic and
food aid to North Korea. North Korea would cease production of nuclear weapons
and they would make other concessions as well. Congress has recently called for
the end to this. In a plenary session on September 18, the US Congress adopted a
resolution, H.J. RES. 83, to call on President Clinton to stop implementing the

U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework reached in Geneva, 1994 . On September 17,

Congress also passed a resolution to cut funding to KEDO. The State Department
feels that constructive engagement is still the answer. Secretary of State press
briefer James P. Rubin said, "We believe that if we canít fulfill our part
of the agreement, it will be much, much harder to convince the North Koreans to
fulfill their pat of the agreement. " This highlights differences within the

U.S. government that may effect the outcome. Another factor is the North Korea
military presence in northeast Asia. With increases technology in SCUD missiles
and new longer range missiles being developed, North Korea is a source of
instability in its region. It is one of the last Marxist regimes. Unlike the
other communist countriesí peaceful exit from the international scene, North

Korea could strike out in desperation as they try to hold on to power as they
slip out. North Korean military implications are important in two ways 1) the
exporting and sales of missiles and technology abroad; and 2) the domestic
stockpiling of troops and weapons along the De-Militarized zone. These two
factors will effect the United States foreign policy to North Korea. Historical

Context The United States has held virtually no relations with North Korea since
the end of the Korean War. In response to the Korean War, the United States

Government established severe economic sanctions towards N. Korea under the

Trading with the Enemy Act in 1950. These sanctions and additional sanctions
from the West caused North Korea to fall behind technologically to its neighbor,

South Korea over time. Kim Il Ėsung dominated most political and governmental
affairs since the Korean War. Both as premier and president, Kim continued to
press for the reunification of Korea (under the Korean Workersí Party rule of
course). Domestically, he transformed Korea into one of the most repressive and
strictly regimented societies in the world. The Korean Workersí Party
dominated all aspects of life; police forces were also used to suppress the
slightest dissent or opposition . In doing this Kim terrorized his own people
and thus failed to