Deciphering North Korea’s Military Activities

In 2024, the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula have highlighted the unpredictability of North Korea’s military intentions. This issue brief evaluates the strategic behaviors of North Korea, particularly under the leadership of Kim Jong Un. By analyzing public military activities, often portrayed as a “show of force,” it attempts to interpret the underlying political and strategic intentions that North Korea aims to convey both domestically and internationally. The analysis suggests that these displays serve multiple functions, including deterrence, coercion, and internal governance. This issue brief contributes to a more nuanced understanding of North Korea’s military posturing and proposes considerations for a rational strategy in the ROK-U.S. alliance’s approach towards the regime.

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