Strategic Culture and the North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Conceptual Challenges and Policy Opportunities
Author: James D. Stratford
Volume 1, Number 1 (November 2005), pp. 123-133.
The prospect of a nuclear capable North Korea has seen the strategic crisis on the Korean peninsula take on an additional layer of complexity and potentially catastrophic lethality. Recent analysis tends to focus only on the period since the Korean War and consequently pays little attention to historical and cultural factors, which inform the context in which the North Korean (and the South as well for that matter) elites operate. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate how an appreciation of traditional strategic culture and the broader history in which the crisis is situated can enhance our understanding of the motivations and functions of this nuclear capability.
About the Author
James Stratford holds Masters degrees in Classics and Strategic Studies from the University of Melbourne and the ANU respectively. Since 2000, he has been a tutor in Classical history and has spent periods working as a field archaeologist with the Australian Archaeological Mission in Northern Syria. During 2005 Mr Stratford completed an internship with ASPI. He is currently starting a PhD in Classics and International Relations looking on siege warfare.