What kind of power is the EU? The EU’s policies toward North Korea’s WMD programs and the debate about the EU’s role in the security arena

  • Min-hyung Kim
  • Jinwoo ChoiEmail author
Original Paper


The main purpose of this article is to critically examine the EU’s policies toward North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. By analyzing the EU’s approach to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, this article contributes to the debate about what kind of an actor the EU really is—i.e., whether it is a military power, a civilian power, or a normative power—in the security arena of world politics. As an autocratic regime with fundamental problems in relation to the proliferation of WMD and human rights, North Korea presents a good test case for considering the contested concept of EU’s international identity. The central thesis explored in the present article is that the EU is, strictly speaking, neither a military, nor a civilian, nor a normative power. That said, the EU’s international identity is closest to the concept of a global civilian power.



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A3A2923970).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International RelationsKyung Hee UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and International RelationsHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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