The present paper seeks to contribute to the literature on strategic narratives that claims that social constructions constrain the behaviour of the political actors. Drawing on the work of Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin and Laura Roselle, it attempts to assess the strategic narratives of the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU) vis-à-vis North Korea and how this have conditioned these actors’ dealing with Pyongyang. This comparative perspective will cover the period between 2001 until 2020, meaning that the analysis starts in the aftermath of 09/11 and ends by the time of the COVID19 pandemic outbreak. This paper concludes that despite the apparently similar behaviour of the US and the EU, as reflected in the imposition of sanctions, different motivations shaped their relationship with North Korea. On the one hand, the US has focused mainly on the resolution of the nuclear issue, using sanctions as a geopolitical tool. On the other hand, the EU demonstrated a greater concern with the human rights-related issues, highlighting the role of diplomacy in the resolution of regional tensions.
Keywords: EU, North Korea, Rogue State, Strategic Narratives, USA
Sofia Ribeiro-Lemos | University of Minho, Portugal
Sofia Ribeiro-Lemos is a PhD student in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Minho. She holds a MA in International Relations (University of Minho) and a BA in Applied Languages (University of Porto). Current research interests are strategic narratives, international relations of East Asia, European and global security issues.
Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira | University of Minho, Portugal
Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Minho and Visiting Professor of the University of São Paulo. She has published extensively on EU’s foreign policy (CFSP/CSDP) and Portuguese foreign and security policy in the journals International Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Cooperation and Conflict, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Global Society, European Politics and Society, and European Security, among others; and in several edited volumes. She is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Contemporary Politics, Global Society and European Review of International Studies.