North Korea & Diplomacy

Can you find North Korea on a map? If your answer to that was yes, you probably prefer diplomacy. If no, you’re one of many Americans. In a Roper survey completed in 2006 confirmed Americans’ inabilities to locate countries like Iran, Iraq, and even states within the U.S.

However, a recent study on the correlation between geography and diplomacy found that the geographic literacy, or the ability to find places on a map, affects mindsets on foreign policy. Out of 1,746 adults, only 36% were able to correctly identify the dictator-led country.

This experiment concluded that participants that were able to find North Korea on the map tended to view diplomatic and non-military strategies more favorably compared to those that were not able to identify the country. Such non-militaristic strategies also included increased economic sanctions, further pressure on China, and conducting cyberattacks against military targets in the country. Those that were able to identify North Korea were also much more likely to disagree with the proposition that American should do nothing about North Korea.

American views on North Korea seem to be remarkably consistent, with 57% of people viewing the country as an “enemy,” and winning the title of America’s least favorite country. Yet, this sentiment is one-sided, as North Koreans seem to hold positive views of Americans, according to Barbara Demick, a former Beijing bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times.


Sophia Kim