DPIR associate Dr Edward Howell releases new book exploring North Korea’s resolve to become a nuclear power

In North Korea and the Global Nuclear Order, Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at New College Dr Edward Howell investigates how North Korea has engaged in delinquent behaviour in achieving its ambitions of becoming a nuclear state.

Taking North Korea’s global perspective as its starting point, the book – published by Oxford University Press – analyses how the ‘hermit kingdom’ has, over time, violated ‘rules’ of state behaviour in international relations, not least with respect to nuclear non-proliferation.

Through extensive documentary analysis and interviews with negotiators with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dr Howell argues how, since the end of the Cold War, North Korea’s drive for a nuclear arsenal has not just been driven by concerns of deterrence and regime survival, but also by a quest for international status.

Essentially, Dr Howell contends, the state has learnt from the outcomes of behaving badly to inform its future strategies, at the same time seeking benefits from the international community whilst ultimately refusing to compromise on its nuclear ambitions.

I hope this book will shed insight on the strategies underlying North Korea’s foreign policy behaviour, outlining how North Korea has behaved, and the costs and benefits it has incurred as a result.

North Korea’s actions may be unpredictable, but it is no irrational actor. As we speak, it has no interest at all in speaking to the United States or South Korea.

Understanding this country’s worldview is thus more important than ever, even if solutions to the ‘North Korea problem’ continue to remain elusive.”

Edward Howell, Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at New College