North Korea's foreign policy of 'Juche' and the challenge of Gorbachev's new thinking

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Jiri Valenta - Committee Chair


North Korea's foreign policy is based on the Juche Ideology. The Juche ideology is a form of national communism and was developed by adapting Marxism-Leninism to the North Korean situation. Since the mid-60s North Korea has pursued an independent foreign policy to balance Soviet and Chinese influence. From the 1970s with dogmatization of the Juche ideology, North Korea has emphasized the Third World as a strategic ally.International thinking of the Juche ideology is based on the two camp theory, the struggle between the imperialist and anti-imperialist camps. North Korea has tried to develop close ties with Third World countries on an anti-imperialist front and has supported revolutionary movements in the Third World. North Korea's relations with Latin American countries confirm this.North Korea's relations with the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada provide an example of its foreign policy in young Leninist revolutionary regimes. North Korea provided economic and military aid without reservation. The Grenadian case showed that North Korea acted according to its own national interest, but in the end it served Soviet expansion in the Third World.North Korea and the Soviet Union found common security and economic interest in the early 1980s. From 1984 the Soviets provided North Korea with modern weapons, industrial facilities, and advanced technology. Emergence of Gorbachev did not at first affect Soviet-North Korean relations. As Gorbachev's policy of perestroika unfolded, the Soviets began to expand non-political contacts, especially in the economic and cultural fields, to South Korea, which responded favorably. Gorbachev's New Thinking still does not affect North Korean thinking. North Korea has carefully followed Chinese methods of opening to the world but has stepped up its ideological campaign to keep the Juche ideology stepped up as ever. Experience has taught us that gradual adoption of the Soviet New Thinking is inevitable in North Korea in the near future.


History, Asia, Australia and Oceania; History, Latin American; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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