Student Research

North Korea: A Case Study of US Foreign Policy

A capstone project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs.

In 2017 the United States faces escalated nuclear tensions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The purpose of the DPRK’s nuclear program is to have a fully developed nuclear arsenal with the ability to strike the continental United States. The purpose of this paper is to explore the historical significance of the nuclear program and why the DPRK is willing to risk everything for its development. It also explores the policies of the three Kim family leaders and their contributions to the nuclear program, along with their interaction with the international community’s nonproliferation strategies to deter the DPRK from further development of its nuclear program. The paper also takes a look at the historical development of the United States’ foreign policy and the tools used to push towards non-proliferation. Closing, there is a discussion of the right path for the United States under the current administration who has used hardline rhetoric to demonstrate the resolve of the United States while not making progress towards a tangible solution.