North Korea's Nuclear Program: From Nonproliferation Issue to Deterrence

By Valeriia Gergiieva

The article provides an understanding of North Korea’s nuclear program and its path to it. There is a range of reasons that explain why after the breakdown of the USSR, North Korea chose such a strategy and why the South didn’t. The U.S. policy on the Korean Peninsula has a significant influence on these countries. Thereby the Bush Administration’s policy is viewed as the last chance to speak about North Korea as a challenge for the Nonproliferation regime. Nowadays, after six nuclear tests and numerous ballistic missiles tests (including long-range ballistic missiles since 2017), North Korea is more about Deterrence, as it is already a nuclear state. Crises of 2017 and 2020 show the necessity to build a new strategy for the U.S. and the whole international community. The further dialogue with North Korea is unpredictable and depends on the U.S. elections, consequences of Covid-19, and Kim’s readiness to cooperate.

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