The Chinese Failure to Disarm North Korea: Geographical Proximity, U.S. Unipolarity, and Alliance Restraint (2020.10)

  • 저자 :  Dong Sun Lee, Iordanka Alexandrova & Yihei Zhao
  • 학술지명 : Contemporary Security Policy
  • 발행처 : Taylor & Francis
  • 권호 : 41(4)
  • 게재년월 : 2020년 10월
  • 국문 초록 : This article explains China’s abortive attempt to stop North Korean nuclear development between 1993 and 2016. It attributes this failure to two international conditions. The first is geographical contiguity. As an adjacent great power, China had limited leverage over North Korea. Beijing’s threats of sanctions lacked credibility, as sanctions could trigger dangerous local instabilities. Its security inducements implied a risk of subordination, which Pyongyang was unwilling to accept. The second is the unipolar international system. Unipolarity curbed Beijing’s ability to protect Pyongyang from the United States, while simultaneously inducing China to pass the buck of restraining North Korea to the American unipole. This article corroborates these main arguments by drawing upon primary and secondary sources in Korean, Chinese, and English.