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 frame works to supplement the Waltzian hypothesis. Copyright © 2015 City University of Hong Kong.
|Title of host publication||North Korea and Northeast Asian regional security|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138828551, 1138828556|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|