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Living with ghosts: American narratives constructing North Korea : Masters of Research in the Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 09:26 authored by Richard Vogt
While the Korean peninsula looms as a regional security threat for most of North East Asia, North Korea is deliberately constructed as a global threat by the US. This thesis fills an important gap in the existing literature by exploring alternative questions raised by critical writers on what is often referred to as the "problem" of North Korea, especially in relation to memory. To organise these questions, Baudrillard's order of simulacrum is employed to help explore the concept of memory curation and how it relates to a renewed aesthetic turn in international relations studies. Baudrillard's simulacra is effective when also coupled with Derrida's notion of post-Cold War hauntology. In current US foreign policy North Korea is marginalised, too often an afterthought of US international concern. Traditional security studies have failed to fully account for this marginalisation. Yet for Pyongyang the Korean War has never been forgotten, while Washington struggles to remember it. Acknowledging this, the core questions this thesis seeks to answer are: what have been the main narratives employed by the US, preventing North Korea's normalisation in the international system? And, has this American behaviour helped in reinforcing regime stability in Pyongyang, allowing North Korea to fortify itself against American aggression?