North Korea's Nuclear Politics

The Kims, father and son, have not managed to rule North Korea for more that 50 years by making foolish decisions. This basic insight needs to be kept in mind when trying to understand North Korea's decision to develop nuclear weapons. Exactly whenthat decision was made is as unclear as why it...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Oh, Kongdan.
Format: Book
Published: Washington, U.S.A: The Brookings Institution, 2004
Subjects:
Online Access:http://www.brook.edu/views/articles/fellows/oh20040901.pdf
Description
Summary:The Kims, father and son, have not managed to rule North Korea for more that 50 years by making foolish decisions. This basic insight needs to be kept in mind when trying to understand North Korea's decision to develop nuclear weapons. Exactly whenthat decision was made is as unclear as why it wasmade, but we do know enough to say that North Korea was goaded in part by changes in the international political situation, the challenge of competing with South Korea, and the Kims' need to dominate domestic politics. Examining each of these influences can help to explain where North Korea's nuclear program comes from, where it is headed, and what might redirect it away from nuclear weapons applications. Whatever course of action the United States and the rest of the international community take, it must be understood that the ultimategoal of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is to keep a Kim in power, not to assure the security of the North Korean state or improve the welfareof the North Korean people.