On Geopolitics

North Korea, the Outlier in U.S. Policy

Rodger Baker
Senior VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
Jan 19, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
Pyongyang has already carried out four nuclear tests and has little interest in ending its efforts until it has demonstrated a viable weapon. With Washington strengthening ties with Cuba and Iran, U.S. relations with North Korea are increasingly anachronistic.
With Washington strengthening ties with Cuba and Iran, U.S. relations with North Korea are increasingly anachronistic.
(CHUNG SUNG-JUN/Getty Images)

Of the three members of the so-called Axis of Evil, North Korea is the outlier. Unlike the other two, Pyongyang has already carried out four nuclear tests and has little interest in ending its efforts until it has demonstrated a viable weapon. It views Libya as the case study for not giving up a weapons program and India and Pakistan, and even Israel, as models for keeping WMD programs while enjoying international acceptance. Neither isolation nor acceptance will alter Pyongyang's perception of its vulnerability without a viable deterrent. But a permanent dialogue mechanism may provide more options for managing North Korea and its impact on regional security and stability than simply trying to ignore it into submission....

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