[KS] NKIDP Working Paper #2, “Overconfidence Shattered: North Korean Unification Policy, 1971 -1975” by Bernd Schaefer

James Person jfperson at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 14 10:11:46 EST 2010

The North Korea International Documentation Project at the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars recently released NKIDP
Working Paper #2, "Overconfidence Shattered: North Korean
Reunification Policy, 1971-1975" by Bernd Schaefer. Based on newly
declassified East German, Romanian, and Bulgarian archival documents, Dr. Schaefer
sheds light on the North Korean policy-making process during the brief period
of inter-Korean détente in the early 1970s.

The Working Paper includes an extensive appendix of translated East German and
Romanian archival documents.

Bernd Schaefer is a senior scholar with the Woodrow
Wilson Center's
Cold War International History Project, an associate with the Parallel History
Project, and former research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington. Dr.
Schaefer's publications include "North Korean "Adventurism" and China's Long
Shadow, 1966-1972" (CWIHP Working Paper No. 44).

NKIDP addresses the scholarly and policy-making communities’
critical need for reliable information on the North Korean political system and
foreign relations by widely disseminating newly declassified documents on the
DPRK from the previously inaccessible archives of Pyongyang’s former communist allies. With no
history of diplomatic relations with North Korea
and severely limited access to the country’s elite, it is difficult for
academics and policymakers to understand the forces and intentions behind Pyongyang’s actions.
Because of deep continuities in the DPRK’s security concerns and
policies, the diplomatic record of North Korea’s former allies
provides valuable context for understanding North Korean policy, past and present. Recognizing
that documentary evidence alone can not produce a complete image of historical
events, NKIDP also coordinates a multi-year critical oral history project
involving participants from the US,
the ROK, and the former communist bloc. NKIDP’s long-term, archival-historical
approach seeks to counter speculation about the internal workings and foreign
policies of the North Korean regime, and more broadly to establish an empirical
database for use by scholars and policymakers alike.

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