Browsing

Geopolitics and North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions

Determining intent in the mind of political leaders is always a fraught endeavor. Working out what the leadership of a highly closed society like North Korea wants is much harder.

North Korea’s nuclear program began in the early 1990s, and in its first decade or so was often thought to be a means of extorting financial and material support. The Agreed Framework, established in 1994 to manage the crisis, looks in hindsight like a reward for stopping the country from misbehaving.

North Korea got the world’s attention – and Donald Trump’s – when it said on July 4 that it had successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. The weapon, potentially equipped with a nuclear warhead, could reach Alaska.

Leaders around the world agree that North Korea should be a top priority, but given the reclusive nation’s belligerence, options are scarce. Furthermore, ties between North Korea and its traditional ally China are growing increasingly fraught, as China reduces coal exports to the “hermit kingdom.” As China withdraws, Russia steps in to exploit the crisis by propping up the North Korean regime with energy and technology.

Is a Unified Korean Peninsula a Possibility?

History suggests attempts at Korean reunification don't get far. North and South Korean athletes will march under one flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.The “Korean Unification Flag” is both a highly symbolic marker of reconciliation and a reminder of a divided Korea, a condition that has…
Read More...

Sleepwalking into War: The North Korean Quagmire

The escalating war of words between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jung-Un has effectively created a situation in which the U.S. Government has three strategic options.The U.S. could agree with the North Korean regime over accepting some degree of the North's nuclear capabilities. The U.S. could use military force…
Read More...

What Are North Korea’s Military Capabilities?

North Korea has embarked on an accelerated buildup of weapons of mass destruction and modernization of its already large conventional force. Introduction The United States and its Asian allies regard North Korea as a grave security threat. It has one of the world’s most substantial conventional military forces, which, combined with its escalating…
Read More...