United States Dilemma towards North Korea A dying nation with nuclear capabilities The United States has been presented a dilemma towards its foreign policy with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). North Korea's alleged launch of a new Tae po-Dong I missile on August 31, 1998 has heightened American worries and escalated an already tense situation with North Korea. The United States response towards this new missile, which could possibly be able to reach the edges of both Alaska and Hawaii, will be a factor in its decision on whether or not to continue to finance support towards North Korea. New sanctions could mean the collapse of a weak North Korean economy. Already on the brink of economic and political collapse, the loss of U.S. and KEDO aid could push them over the edge and into political ruin. One major factor involved in the foreign policy decision is the collapse of North Korea.

It could mean one of three things: Implosion (collapse of the state), explosion (war with South Korea) or absorption (reform and reunification). In May 1997, acting Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, stated, "One of the things that worries us most is an implosion internally". The result of an implosion, the collapse of the state, would be hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to China and South Korea. China has already begun stepping up troops at the North Korean border to halt the flow of refugees should this happen. South Korea would possibly use force to deter refugees to the south. Another factor here is the humanitarian influences.

Massive floods, droughts and typhoons since 1995 have forced North Korea to accept international food aid. Widespread famine has reportedly killed hundreds of thousands of people. This acceptance is contrary to the North Korean government's policy of "j uche" or self-reliance. It is feared that the government of North Korea is diverting scarce food sources from the civilian sector to its military, even at a time of humanitarian crisis. A third factor is the general flow of our foreign policy towards North Korea. Since 1994, we have been implementing constructive engagement with North Korea.

The Agreed Framework was a barter system where the United States would provide economic and food aid to North Korea. North Korea would cease production of nuclear weapons and they would make other concessions as well. Congress has recently called for the end to this. In a plenary session on September 18, the US Congress adopted a resolution, H.J. RES.

83, to call on President Clinton to stop implementing the U.S. -North Korea Agreed Framework reached in Geneva, 1994. On September 17, Congress also passed a resolution to cut funding to KEDO. The State Department feels that constructive engagement is still the answer. Secretary of State press briefer James P. Rubin said, "We believe that if we can't fulfill our part of the agreement, it will be much, much harder to convince the North Koreans to fulfill their pat of the agreement". This highlights differences within the U.S. government that may effect the outcome. Another factor is the North Korea military presence in northeast Asia.

With increases technology in SCUD missiles and new longer range missiles being developed, North Korea is a source of instability in its region. It is one of the last Marxist regimes. Unlike the other communist countries' peaceful exit from the international scene, North Korea could strike out in desperation as they try to hold on to power as they slip out. North Korean military implications are important in two ways 1) the exporting and sales of missiles and technology abroad; and 2) the domestic stockpiling of troops and weapons along the De-Militarized zone.

These two factors will effect the United States foreign policy to North Korea.