North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns, 1966-2008

26 11 2009

By Narushige Michishita

This book examines North Korea’s nuclear diplomacy over a long time period from the early 1960s, setting its dangerous brinkmanship in the wider context of North Korea’s military and diplomatic campaigns to achieve its political goals. It argues that the last four decades of military adventurism demonstrates Pyongyang’s consistent, calculated use of military tools to advance strategic objectives vis à vis its adversaries. It shows how recent behavior of the North Korean government is entirely consistent with its behavior over this longer period: the North Korean government’s conduct (rather than being haphazard or reactive) is rational – in the Clausewitzian sense of being ready to use force as an extension of diplomacy by other means.

The book goes on to demonstrate that North Korea’s “calculated adventurism” has come full circle: what we are seeing now is a modified repetition of earlier events – such as the Pueblo incident of 1968 and the nuclear and missile diplomacy of the 1990s. Using extensive interviews in the United States and South Korea, including those with defected North Korean government officials, alongside newly declassified firsthand material from U.S., South Korean, and former Communist-bloc archives, the book argues that whilst North Korea’s military-diplomatic campaigns have intensified, its policy objectives have become more conservative and are aimed at regime survival, normalization of relations with the United States and Japan, and obtaining economic aid.


“In North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns, 1966-2008, Dr. Narushige Michishita provides a unique, refreshing and extremely well researched study of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) idiosyncratic military/political strategies and doctrines. . . . Dr. Michishita’s book is highly recommended to both the serious student of the DPRK and the general reader interested in gaining a better understanding of this dangerous and volatile nation.” -Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., author of The Armed Forces of North Korea and A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK

Table of Contents

Introduction 1: A History of North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns

2: Assaults along the Demilitarized Zone, 1966-1968

3: The Pueblo Incident, 1968

4: The West Sea Incident, 1973-76

5: The Axe Murder Incident, 1976

6: Nuclear Diplomacy, 1993-94

7: Missile Diplomacy, 1996-2000

8: Assaults on the Korean Armistice, 1993-2002

9: Nuclear Diplomacy, Round Two, 2002-Present

October 2009 | Hardback: 978-0-415-44943-4 £80/$130