Coercive diplomacy is a threat
diplomacy whereby one of the actors threatens the other with repercussions,
whether of a military, economic or social nature. This diplomatic tactic
involves using the threat of the war in Europe or launching a nuclear attack in
exchange for ceding the requirements of the other state.

This diplomacy is therefore an
instrument of prevention and management of conflicts before the conduct of a
State that, otherwise, could end up causing a warlike confrontation in every
rule. The purpose of armed actions is to intimidate and influence rival
political decision-makers, not to destroy their military force. However, in
some cases the level of force used can reach levels that make it difficult to
draw a clear dividing line between coercive diplomacy and war.

Coercive diplomacy succeeds when it
gets the rival state to stop and reverse the political action that motivated
the crisis. Its failure can produce two types of scenarios: That the State
object of the coercive diplomacy does not give up in its attempt and ends up
accepting the ruining of the status quo and/or that the refusal gives rise to
an open armed conflict.

Therefore, the degree of success and
failure is measured in terms of the political results obtained and the
magnitude of force used. The higher the level of violence, the process will
have less coercive diplomacy and more open armed conflict. But the final
options are not reduced to a triumph or an absolute fiasco. Throughout the
process, the actors can modify their respective demands, reaching intermediate
agreements that avoid a confrontation, and that satisfy to a greater or lesser
extent the parties involved. In the case of DPRK, attempts at diplomacy are
still happening and it is yet unsure how it will turn out in the end, because
of DPRK’s very sensitive case.

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The North Korean diplomacy line was the
result of the conflict between communism and capitalism during the Cold War,
which established the diplomatic policy of the state.

At the end of the Second World War,
Korea gained its independence after decades of Japanese occupation and wanted
to gain independence by using its allies during the war – the United States of
America (USA), China, the Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The start of the
nuclear program began in the 1960s, but it became worse after Russia and China
didn’t support it. Leader Kim Jong-un now, chooses to apply the same tactic as
his predecessors, that of the nuclear development. North Korea’s nuclear
weapons drew concern of Europe and especially the United States. For this
reason, North Korean relations with the US and South Korea have deteriorated.

Furthermore, in the next years US sees
North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are aimed at deterrence, international prestige
and coercive diplomacy and acknowledges that they do not know what would
motivate the use of a nuclear weapon by the North Korean regime. Although they
believe that DPRK would only try to use nuclear weapons against US forces or
their allies to preserve Kim’s regime, US does not know what it would take,
from North Korea’s perspective, to cross that threshold.

It is very clear in what direction Kim
Jong-un is moving forward: to have a full arsenal capable of keeping the United
States at risk for deterrence, but also for coercive diplomacy. Therefore, one
of the tactics thought by the US military is to simultaneously reinforce the
defense network and the ability to attack, in the face of possible North Korean
provocations, since in case one of its missiles reaches South Korean territory
it would cause great human losses. USA has over 20 thousand military staff
stationed permanently in South Korea and carries out numerous military
maneuvers with them.

Seoul and Washington argue that their
military collaboration aims to confront the aggression of Pyongyang. In this
regard, the new US president, Donald Trump, and the interim president of South
Korea, Hwang Kyo-Ahn, committed last January to “strengthen” their
joint defense capacity. As stated in an article made by the US department of
state: “The decision of President Donald Trump and President Moon Jae-in to
regularize the Expanded Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG), the
foreign affairs and defense agencies of both countries have approved a new
framework for the group and have committed to an EDSCG meeting in the near
future.”1 This
means how the both allied countries are committed to deter North Korea.

North Korea seeks to develop atomic
weapons, it argues, in self-defense, although it has repeatedly threatened to
launch a nuclear attack against South Korea and USA if the provocations
continue as their united actions or the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

Since 2003, DPRK’s nuclear program has
multiplied nuclear tests with the aim of intimidating bordering countries.
Currently, in the framework of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,
South Korea, China and the USA are expanding their communication. As the South
Korean foreign minister mentions, by improving relations between these countries,
would help denuclearize the peninsula.

Experts mention that the United States
have in consideration to strike prudentially DPRK’s nuclear facilities, because
it would be a necessary thing to do until DPRK obtains a valuable ICBM. The
problem is that it would be hard to destroy some of North Korea’s missile
artillery that is targeting Japan and Seoul.

Although North Korea’s threats have
been constant and there have been small conflicts, it is said that Pyongyang
would not have the power to support a nuclear attack against the US. There are
sources that North Korea would not have the need for nuclear weapons by far to
attack the US.


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