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War Games: North Korea's Reaction to US and South Korean Military Exercises
July 02, 2012
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Vito D'Orazio
joint military exercise, conflict, deterrence, escalation, event data, North Korea
Since 1976, the militaries of the United States and South Korea have been holding routine joint military exercises (JMEs) for the purposes of military training and deterrence against North Korea. These exercises are frequently cited as a cause of tension on the peninsula, causing North Korea to escalate its conflictual rhetoric and behavior. I empirically assess this claim using new data on US-ROK JMEs and machine-coded event data collected by the Integrated Crisis Early Warning System. The findings show that North Korea does not systematically escalate its conflictual rhetoric or behavior during or near the occurrence of JMEs. The result s hold for both low-and high-intensity exercises and for rhetoric that has the United States and South Korea as its target.
Author(s) Bio
Vito D'Orazio is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University . He is a predoctoral fellow at Penn State's Quantitative Social Science Initiative where he researches applications of machine learning methods to international relations. His dissertation examines dyadic and systemic security cooperation using item response theory and social network analysis. Other research interests include using sequence analysis to predict civil conflict and exploring automated methods of data collection.

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