The Six-Party Talks: When national interests are in conflict with the overall goal

Jesper Vestergård

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This master thesis investigates a hypothesis concerning Chinese national interests during the Six-Party Talks. Since this multilateral forum did not deliver any sustainable result regarding the North Korean nuclear program, the thesis will examine if the reason for the lack of progress was because the overall goal of the Six-Party Talks was interfering with Chinese national interests. The thesis is done as an embedded case study with focus on the PRC, the U.S, Russia, Japan and the ROK. An analysis of each of the parties’ national interests towards the DPRK and their role during the Six-Party Talks is chosen in order to give a thorough answer to the hypothesis. The analysis will be supported with a theoretical framework, where the neo-realist notion of the structure of the system will be contrasted with Hedley Bull’s theory of actor behaviour. In addition, the analysis will be assisted by mediation theory and the coercive diplomacy theory since certain elements of the theories had an impact during the Six-Party Talks. The conclusion verifies the hypothesis, but since this case study is focusing on multiple actors, the analysis and conclusion will prove that Chinese national interests are not a definitive answer. Other bilateral incidents could likewise have influenced the Six-Party Talks.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato8 jun. 2011
VejledereGorm Rye Olsen


  • The PRC
  • Neo-realism
  • The DPRK
  • Nuclear proliferation
  • Coercive diplomacy
  • The U.S.
  • Mediation