Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2017

Capstone Advisor

George Kallander

Honors Reader

Stuart Thorson

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International Relations


UN Security Council sanctions have been ineffective in curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons proliferation because North Korea’s economy is not open to trade with the rest of the world. Instead, multilateral sanctions provoke threatening nationalist responses from Pyongyang rather than the desired compliance. An alternative approach is needed. Using content analysis of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Debate statements (2006-2016) of the member nations of the Six-Party Talks and archival research of UN Security Council resolutions, this case study examines each country’s priorities and policies in addressing North Korea’s nuclear proliferation. I find that Japan and the Republic of Korea expressed the greatest concern due to their geographical proximity to North Korea and tense relations. I also found that in each year China mentioned North Korea, its delegation advocated for the use of Six-Party Talks (6PT) to achieve denuclearization while the United States never mentioned the 6PT at all. Additionally, the North Korean delegation mentioned peace in its speeches more than any other topic coded for in this research which I argue can be used as a basis to resume diplomatic efforts. Because UN sanctions have been not only ineffective but counter-productive, I recommend establishing a peace treaty between the parties to the Korean conflict and offering economic aid and security assurances to the regime in Pyongyang. This policy of peace and engagement can open the doors for denuclearization talks to resume.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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