Weird IR pp 59-80 | Cite as




This chapter focuses exclusively on North Korea, a state that is so weird that it deserves its own chapter. Perhaps the ultimate deviant case, North Korea could be a bizarre outlier that defies any explanation. Alternatively, it could be the exception that proves the rule. Philip covers some of the DPRK’s most outrageous actions in the international arena, including the series of intrusions in the late 1960s, which some have called the Second Korean War. He also describes more recent behaviors, like Dennis Rodman’s booze-fueled basketball diplomacy; the assassination of Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother; and the Kim brother who passed on leading the country because it impeded on his obsession with the guitarist Eric Clapton.


Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK) North Korean USAUnited States Pyongyang Commandos 
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References and Suggested Readings

  1. Bolger, Daniel P. “Scenes from an Unfinished War: Low-Intensity Conflict in Korea, 1966–69,” Leavenworth Papers 19 (2011).Google Scholar
  2. Byman, Daniel, and Jennifer Lind. “Keeping Kim: How North Korea’s Regime Stays in Power,” Harvard Belfer Center, July 2010.
  3. Chapman, William. “North Korean Leader’s Son Blamed for Rangoon Bombing,” Washington Post, December 3, 1983. Accessed on March 14, 2018 at
  4. Cho, Joohee. “The Koreas Have Come a Long Way Since the North Blew Up a Korean Air Flight Before 1988 Seoul Olympics,” ABC, February 7, 2018. Accessed on March 14, 2018 at
  5. Cummings, Bruce. Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History. New York, NY: Norton, 2005.Google Scholar
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  8. Jenkins, Robert Charles, and Jim Frederick. The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  9. Lerner, Mitchell B. The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2002.Google Scholar
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  12. Rogers, Martin. “Even Sports News in Korea is Bizarre,” USA Today, April 24, 2017. Accessed on March 11, 2018 at
  13. Sens, Josh. “The Real Story Behind One of the Most Fabled Rounds in Golf,” Golf Magazine, June 1, 2016. Accessed on March 11, 2018 at

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Human SciencesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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