Introduction: China and North Korea: between development and security

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In recent years, the international community, and particularly the UN, has drawn greater attention to the tension between support and protection for a fragile population and the attempts to curtail the development of nuclear weapons, arguing that the security threats posed by the North Korean state and the insecurities confronting North Korean citizens are inextricably linked. Up until 2014, the international community adopted separate processes and policies to address the external and internal security threats in North Korea, imposing UN sanctions to manage the external threat, and providing humanitarian aid to support a struggling population. In 2014, with the publication of a UN report into the human rights of the population in North Korea, attention was refocused on the relationship between the internal and external security environments. This re-invigorated focus, raises the question: How can or should the international community, and particularly North Korea’s neighboring states, manage or mitigate the security threats emanating from the regime in Pyongyang?
This introduction presents a new approach to assessing and considering how we should and how we do understand the security challenge presented by North Korea but also how we might more accurately conceptualize China’s approaches. This framing chapter indicates that by approaching this topic from the perspective of the development-security nexus, or the ‘developmental peace’, rather than appearing contradictory, China’s policy and approaches become more consistent – albeit with its own conceptual logic. As a result, this type of approach may be more useful than segregating ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina-North Korea Relations: Between development and Security
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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