Will Pyongyang’s NATO Tirades Pay Dividends?
Jagannath P. Panda
As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit was being held in Madrid, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK or North Korea) state media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a commentary that called NATO a “perpetrator of the US hegemonic strategy” and indicted the Republic of Korea (ROK; South Korea) for shaking NATO’s “dark” hands. The DPRK accused NATO of bringing disaster to Eastern Europe and now “turning its sinister eyes” to the Indo-Pacific.
North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric against the US, its regional allies and NATO has strengthened since the war started in Ukraine in support of China and Russia, echoing especially Beijing’s fear of an “Asian NATO” materializing in the Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, the Ukraine war has provided North Korea a unique opportunity to not just distract attention from its expanding missile and nuclear programs, but also put multidirectional pressure on the US and its European and Asian allies.
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