The bilateral relationship between the European Union (EU) and North Korea has made significant progress since the historic inter-Korean summit talks on June 15, 2000, in Pyongyang. However, the relationship has fallen into a stalemate with the ongoing North Korean nuclear problem in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on American soil. As the international community began to accept the global war on terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) as the most serious items on the agenda, the European Union's efforts to improve relations with North Korea have been significantly marred. The “European Security Strategy” published in late 2003, and the “Declaration on Anti-Terrorism” issued in March 2004 indicate that the positions of the EU on those issues do not deviate from the strategic positions of the United States. However, the EU has continued its humanitarian assistance to North Korea. Conclusively, EU-North Korea relations since 9/11 have played out at two levels: humanitarian assistance to North Korea on the one hand; and the elimination of the threat posed by the North to the international community on the other. This article attempts to examine current EU-North Korea relations based on the European Security Strategy issued in December 2003, which outlines the role of the EU as an international actor dedicated to resolving the ongoing crisis on the Korean peninsula by capitalizing on those features analyzed.
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