The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is considered by the West as a troublemaker, the one most responsible for creating instability in the region and the most worrisome security risk. Its possession of nuclear weapons is perceived as an unimaginable threat to world peace in the twenty-first century. As Northeast Asia is a complex of great powers, including China, Japan, Russia, and the US as well as the two Koreas, how to deal with a nuclear-armed “rogue state” would impact on world politics. This article will re-visit the neo-realist theory proposed by Kenneth Waltz, especially on the inter-relationship between nuclear proliferation and global insecurity and its application to the Korean Peninsula crisis. The article will be in four sections: (a) a literature review illustrating Waltz's theory; (b) an assessment of the DPRK's nuclear crisis by applying this theory; (c) in response to the 2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombardment, a discussion on how various powers calculate their interests in the region from the perspective of brinkmanship demonstrating the overall picture; (d) an investigation on the limitations of Waltz's theory to acknowledge the potential of other competing theoretical frameworks to supplement the Waltzian hypothesis. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
CitationShen, S. (2011). Have nuclear weapons made the DPRK a rogue state? Studying the Korean Peninsula crisis from the Waltzian theory, 10(2), 199-222.
- Nuclear proliferation
- Nuclear security