North Korea

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Snapshot,
Robert A. Manning

As if the world didn’t have enough problems, North Korea seems to be gearing up to add a few more. According to the New York Times, commercial satellite imagery has confirmed that Pyongyang recently upgraded its main satellite launching facility, which will enable it to test an intercontinental missile.

Snapshot,
J. Berkshire Miller

Before the year is out, the world could witness Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

Essay, JUL/AUG 2014
Sue Mi Terry

Contrary to popular belief, the reunification of North Korea and South Korea would not spell disaster for South Korea, nor would it pose an unacceptable risk for the United States, China, and Japan. Rather, it would produce massive economic and social benefits for the peninsula and the region.

Review Essay, Jul/Aug 2013
John Delury

A new book offers useful insights into the North Korean mindset, but it overlooks the regime's durability and the reformist bent of its new leader, Kim Jong-un. The regime is here to stay, and the United States should pursue more peaceful relations.

Audio,
Kevin Rudd and Jonathan Tepperman

Kevin Rudd discusses North Korea and U.S.-Chinese relations during a conference call moderated by Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman.

Snapshot,
Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press

As North Korea issues increasingly over-the-top threats, officials in Washington have sought to reassure the public and U.S. allies. But the risk of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is far from remote--and the United States should adjust its military planning accordingly.

Snapshot,
Jennifer Lind, Keir A. Lieber, and Daryl G. Press

The view that nuclear weapons are merely political instruments -- suitable for sending signals, but not waging wars -- is now so common in the United States that it is hard to find anyone who disagrees. Yet that comforting assumption is not shared by leaders everywhere. North Korea, for example, does not test nuclear weapons to send messages, but to make sure that its ultimate deterrent will work. It would be tragic if the United States let misguided Kremlinology distract from the real challenges ahead.

Snapshot,
Victor Cha

Last December, the chubby and blubbering soon-to-be leader of the hermit kingdom seemed too inexperienced and unqualified to ever consolidate his rule. Today, Kim Jong Un is riding high, having become the first Korean to launch a domestically designed satellite into orbit on the back of a domestically designed rocket. North Korean society, though, is changing all around him, and lobbing missiles might not be enough to keep him in power.

Snapshot,
Michael T. Klare

Until recently, Asian countries' competing claims in the seas around China did not cause outright conflict. But now that drilling technology can tap gas and oil beds there, Asia capitals are stepping up their games.

Snapshot,
Jacques E. C. Hymans

Institutional dysfunction will slow or halt Pyongyang's further progress toward an operational nuclear arsenal. The same is true for the remaining would-be proliferators, all of which suffer from a lack of professionalism and poorly-built political systems.

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