Towards gendering Northeast Asian traditional security: The cases of the USS Pueblo and Juche policy

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Abstract

Since the conclusion of the uneasy armistice that halted the Korean War in 1953, security on the Korean Peninsula has remained unsettled. This has negatively impacted regional security dynamics, too. A major problem has been North Korean military provocations. South Korean and U.S. responses to such maneuvers have further contributed to regional instability. Using the case of the 1968 Pueblo Incident, the paper examines the context of military provocation and reaction with the focus on a suspected gender-bias in regional security affairs. The paper investigates Pyongyang's motivation for initiating a crisis and Washington's and Seoul's responses to the provocation and applies a branch of International Relations Theory, Gender Studies, as its analytical framework. The conclusion is that all actors involved in the 1968 Pueblo Incident, especially North Korea's leadership, initiated or preferred actions that were heavily gender-biased. Demonstrations of strength, independence, and victory were seen as the only ones appropriate, while alternative policies were seen as weak and defeatist. In 1968, conflict and conflict resolution can be properly explained as heavily gender-biased, which sheds new light on our understanding of North Korea's motivation for the provocation, and South Korean and American responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalKorean Journal of Defense Analysis
Volume26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations

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