Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Hawk Engagement and Preventive Defense on the Korean Peninsula

  • Victor Cha
| Summer 2002


Victor Cha of Georgetown University explains why President George W. Bush should continue U.S. engagement with North Korea, contrary to the opinion of hard-liners in his administration who contend that engagement is a failed—and potentially dangerous—policy. Cha agrees with skeptics in the Bush administration who argue that the Clinton administration's engagement of North Korea did not fundamentally alter the regime's malevolent intentions. Indeed, despite a variety of economic and political incentives from the United States, South Korea, and Japan, North Korea has neither dismantled its weapons of mass destruction program nor discontinued work on developing ballistic missiles. He disagrees with the skeptics, however, that Pyongyang sees engagement as a sign of U.S. weakness. Cha proposes a policy of "containment-plus-engagement" that would use a combination of carrots and sticks to "prevent the crystallization of conditions under which the North Korean regime could calculate aggression as a 'rational' course of action even if a [North Korean] victory was impossible."


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For Academic Citation: Cha, Victor D.. Hawk Engagement and Preventive Defense on the Korean Peninsula.” Quarterly Journal: International Security, vol. 27. no. 1. (Summer 2002):

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