The end of Critical Engagement: on the failures of the EU's North Korea strategy
Eric J. Ballbach – 2019
This study critically evaluates the EU’s North Korea strategy and argues that Critical Engagement is an outdated and ineffective strategy for pursuing Brussels’ interests in the region. As Critical Engagement has failed on both the level of its stated objectives and strategically, a sober debate on a new North-Korea strategy is required, one which allows for a longer-term strategic planning of the EU’s relations with the Korean peninsula in general and North Korea in particular and put the EU in a stronger position to proactively contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability. This new strategy should specifically target those dimensions of the conflict to which Europe can make a tangible contribution, identify corresponding initiatives which better help to the achievement of the EU’s main objectives vis-à-vis the Korean peninsula, reflect the different roles of and contributions that can be made by the various actor(s) within the EU, and specify at which stage of the conflict (resolution) those initiatives are expected to be put into practice.