Confronting the North Korea Threat: Reassessing Policy Options, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, First Session, January 31, 2017   [open pdf - 480KB]

This hearing compilation is from the January 31, 2017 hearing on "Confronting the North Korea Threat: Reassessing Policy Options" before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the statement of Nicholas Eberstadt: "Our seemingly unending inability to fathom Pyongyang's true objectives, and our attendant proclivity for being taken by surprise over and over again by North Korean actions, is not just a matter of succumbing to Pyongyang's strategic deceptions, assiduous as those efforts may be. The trouble, rather, is that even our top foreign policy experts and our most sophisticated diplomatists are creatures of our own cultural heritage and intellectual environment. We Americans are, so to speak, children of the Enlightenment, steeped in the precepts of our highly globalized era. Which is to say: we have absolutely no common point of reference with the worldview, or moral compass, or first premises of the closed-society decision makers who control the North Korean state. Americans' first instincts are to misunderstand practically everything the North Korean state is really about. The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] is a project pulled by tides and shaped by sensibilities all but forgotten to the contemporary West. North Korea is a hereditary Asian dynasty (currently on its third Kim)--but one maintained by Marxist-Leninist police state powers unimaginable to earlier epochs of Asian despots and supported by a recently invented and quasi-religious ideology." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Nicholas Eberstadt and Scott Snyder.

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