As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama boldly promised to enhance US engagement with North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea; DPRK). But in his first term as president, his administration was determined to significantly lower the foreign policy priority of North Korea and carried out a policy of concerted disengagement, an approach the administration called "strategic patience." The strategy of disengagement showed disappointing results by late 2010, and so the United States made a begrudging, tactical adjustment by starting tentative bilateral talks with the DPRK. When the preliminary result of those talks-the "Leap Day Deal"-fell apart in 2012 over the satellite launch controversy, the wrong lesson was learned: that neither sanctions nor engagement works with Pyongyang. The real lesson of Obama's North Korea policy is the failure of disengagement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Life-span and Life-course Studies