Comparing the Foreign Policy of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

Comparing the Foreign Policy of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

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Comparing the Foreign Policy of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton Towards North Korea


Since its creation after the Korean War in 1950, North Korea, also known as the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), has caused many problems for the United States. North Korea has, for instance, broken treaties and even gone so far as to threaten the use of nuclear weapons. Naturally, different presidents have dealt with North Korea in different ways. Take Eisenhower for example, he actually threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in 1953 (obviously before North Korea had nuclear capabilities). Many presidents ignored North Korea all together, and some tried to ignore the country, but circumstances did not allow it. Two such presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the 42nd and 43rd presidents respectively also tried at the beginning of their tenure as president to ignore the brewing problems in North Korea. Their indifference towards North Korea, however, was cut short, and they were both forced to engage the country early on in their respective administrations. Their decisions in dealing with North Korea would help to define their early reputations as foreign policy makers. Their circumstances for being drawn into the affairs of North Korea were remarkably different (Clinton getting drawn in because of the threat of nuclear capabilities and Bush getting drawn in because of terrorism) as were their approaches to North Korea. Many similarities can be seen between Bush and Clinton's dealings with North Korea.

Clinton started out, as mentioned before, trying to altogether ignore some eminent problems brewing in North Korea. In his Essay "Clinton's Foreign Policy in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and North K...


... middle of paper ...


...will not know the full effect of his presidency on North Korea until well after he is out of the White House. Until then, we will have to keep on making intelligent guesses as to where his policy will bring us in the future.


Works Cited

Dao, James. "Bush Administration Halts Payments to Send Oil to North Korea." New
York Times 14 November 2002. Online ed.

Hastedt, Glenn P. American Foreign Policy Past Present and Future, 5th ed. Prentice
Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2003.

Henirksen, Thomas H. "Clinton's Foreign Policy in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and North
Korea." Stanford: Stanford University, 1996.

Sanger, Daved E. "North Korea Says it has Program on Nuclear Arms." New York
Times 17 October 2002, Online ed.

Shenon, Philip. "White House Rejects North Korean Offer for Talks." New York Times
4 October 2002, Online ed.

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