Did President Trump’s ‘Fire and Fury’ pressure campaign coerce North Korea to return to the bargaining table in 2018? States have gone to great lengths to acquire nuclear weapons, but experts are divided on whether such weapons confer coercive advantages for attaining foreign policy goals. That is, does threatening the use of nuclear weapons often succeed in forcing others to comply to that state’s will? Whereas “nuclear coercion optimists” argue that nuclear weapons provide coercive advantages, “nuclear coercion pessimists” counter that the coercive utility of nuclear weapons are limited. Proponents in both camps, however, turn to the Sino-Soviet Border Crisis of 1969 to support their case. Indeed, in major datasets used to statistically analyze the coercive utility of nuclear weapons across countries, this puzzling case is coded differently. Did nuclear coercion succeed in the 1969 crisis? This seminar sheds new light on this question and discusses the broader implications of the case for our understanding of nuclear coercion and crisis bargaining with North Korea.
Hyun-Binn Cho is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program. His research interests include crisis escalation, coercive diplomacy, nuclear security, and security in the Asia-Pacific. Previously, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and a predoctoral fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University. Binn holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in International Relations from Seoul National University, and a B.Sc. in Government and Economics from the London School of Economics.
Speakers and Presenters
Hyun Binn Cho, postdoctoral research fellow with the Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program.
Project on Managing the Atom