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Abstract: In this paper I look at the benefits of using soft power in diplomatic relations through sport, as opposed to hard power. Soft power differs from hard power in the nature of the interaction. Where hard power looks to coerce, soft power only looks to persuade others. North Korea has a history of hard power on the international stage, which further isolates the state from the rest of the international community. Looking at the symbolism of North Korea’s participation in certain acts of sports diplomacy may shed light on a new way states should try to approach North Korea to ease them out of isolation. Its rich history of hard power allows us to isolate the effects of the sports diplomacy more easily. Basing sports diplomacy in the theoretical framework of pluralism allows us to recognize the positive effects of both state and non-state actors in diplomatic interactions. We look at three cases in North Korea, one involved with Madeline Albright, next is the DPRK’s hosting of its first major sporting event, and lastly the DPRK’s interaction with VICE, Dennis Rodman, and the Harlem Globetrotter through the cultural vehicle of basketball.
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Kasiske, Henry Andreas, "Basketballs and Bombs: Sports Diplomacy in North Korea and Its Role on the International Stage" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 308.