Relations Between China and North Korea

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Lea Kruse-Utermann Dr. William Zanella HIST 3302 Date Relations between China and North Korea Abstract The relationship between North Korea and China is one of the most crucial links in the security, economy and politics of the East Asian region. Since the Korean War, North Korean leadership has maintained a balance between Russia and China but closer to the latter. The long relationship between North Korea and China begs questions such as: What are the factors that have kept them closer for many decades? What is the nature of the current relationship? Is the relationship likely to be sustained in future? This paper presents different approaches of answering these questions. North Korea’s current status results from its strong Confucian tradition, cultural heritage and a long history of foreign influence in the Korean Peninsula. China has, so far, been the leading force in the developments in this region. To better understand the relationship between these two countries, which continuous to puzzle, amaze, and confuse observers it is crucial that one first understand the basis for Chinese influence. China has not only become a very influential country not only in East Asia but in the world. A comprehensive understanding of the reasons behind its success will help analysts understand the roots and reasons behind its relations with North Korea and make it easy to predict the possibilities of their future association. The paper analyzes the development of the political relationship between the two countries from a historical comparative analysis, transitologist and political realist perspectives. The paper concludes that North Korea is becoming increasing dependent on china while china attempts to distance itself and endeavors to build closer relationships with South Korea. Economic and political choices made in any of the countries affect the other directly.

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