Biden Must Recalibrate Policy on North Korea
After North Korea notched a record-breaking month for missile tests in January, many experts have explained the series of launches by saying that North Korea is trying to draw attention from the United States, as Pyongyang has fallen out of the top priority list due to tensions with China and Russia.
However, this rationale leads the international community and North Korean watchers to misunderstand the intention of the North’s missile tests and what it is aiming to achieve this year.
North Korea is not preparing for future negotiations with the United States and South Korea, nor do its missile tests represent Kim’s desire to return to the negotiating table by enticing the U.S. to make concessions first. More clearly, North Korea will not suddenly come back to the table and respond to Washington’s offer for talks “anytime, anywhere, with no preconditions” this year.
Based on the results of the five-day plenary session of the Eighth Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea in December 2021 and Pyongyang’s latest remarks on the U.S. sanctions and its missile tests, North Korea’s intentions are clear. Pyongyang’s goal is building a concrete foundation for its five-year plan to develop its defense technology and military system. Under that plan – which was introduced in the Eighth Congress Party last year – North Korea seeks to significantly strengthen its nuclear and missile capabilities. By doing so, Pyongyang believes that the U.S. and South Korea would offer more attractive and favorable incentives, including lifting sanctions or partial removal of the so-called “hostile policy” first to deter its growing power and leverage in the region.
North Korea Denounces Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan
Introduction: North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson denounced the visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to Taiwan on Wednesday. “The current situation clearly shows that […]
From Europe, Yoon Suk Yeol Calls for International Cooperation on North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Threats
Introduction: The leaders of the United States, South Korea, and Japan met in Madrid on Wednesday. Held on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meetings this week, the trilateral […]
Korean Peninsula Tensions Escalate Amid a Return to Old School Policies
Introduction: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday in Washington, D.C. The meeting came three weeks after a summit meeting in Seoul between […]
North Korea Threats Make Engaging Quad a Risk Worth Taking for South Korea
Introduction: For much of the past decade, South Korea was inclined to play a balancing act between the U.S. and China while keeping its foreign policy energy primarily focused on […]
What North Korea Thinks About the Russia-Ukraine War
Introduction: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised many new security concerns not only for Europe, but also for the rest of the world. In Northeast Asia, Russia’s proximity and strategic […]
South Korea’s Foreign Policy in Changing Times: Reversing Course?
Abstract: The tragedy currently unfolding in Ukraine may be a symptom of new dynamics in global geopolitics. The changing balance of power epitomized by the rise of China and the […]