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North Korean Unification Policy:

North Korea’s Strategic Culture and its Implications


Sachio Nakato

Ritsumeikan University

College of International Relations




This paper regards the Juche Ideology as a main component of North Korea strategic culture and explores how the Juche ideology as strategic culture influences and forms North Korean unification policy strategies vis-a-vis South Korea.  This paper assumes that North Korean strategic culture has been developed through geopolitical, historical and ideological factors in the context of the Juche ideology and it has articulated the basic attitude of foreign policy and policy choices.  In the context of North Korean unification policy, the Juche ideology not only provides guiding principles for North Korean unification policy but also develops North Korean strategic culture, which has endured over time and had an impact on North Korean unification strategies.  This paper also explores some policy implications for peace and stability in Northeast Asia with reference to the nuclear and unification issues.




I. Juche as North Korea’s strategic culture

Juche as geopolitical context, historical experience, and nationalist ideology

North Korean strategic culture

II. North Korean unification policy and inter-Korean relations

The Cold war period

The Post Cold war period

III. Implications for Peace Building in Northeast Asia

Changes and continuity

Implications for peace and stability in Northeast Asia

Concluding remarks