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Dennis P. Halpin
Dennis P. Halpin, a former Foreign Service Officer and senior Congressional staff, is a consultant on Asian issues.
When a very green Clinton Administration took office in 1993, the major foreign policy focus was on the lingering fallout from the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Empire, the aftermath of the First Gulf War, and re-engagement with China following the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Little thought was given to a hermetically-sealed, backwater of a country situated in a remote corner of Northeast Asia. But within the first eighteen months of Bill Clinton’s presidency, North Korea emerged from the shadows to generate a full-blown foreign policy crisis, a crisis which would bring the United States to the brink of war.