What Kim Jong Un’s weapons blitz really means

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Harry Kazianis

“North Korea is often labeled as a crazy, unhinged regime, hellbent on fueling some sort of crisis that could restart the Korean War, a conflict that claimed the lives of millions of people. And yet, over at least the last few years, North Korea has done everything it could to signal the opposite, that it does in fact want a new relationship with the international community, and most of all the United States. There’s just one problem with all of that: North Korea wants that new relationship to be one where the global order bestows upon Pyongyang the status of a de facto nuclear weapons state. … Kim has his history book at the ready. He knows there is no chance of a U.S.-led regime-change operation if he has his hand on the nuclear button. There is no concession, no sanctions relief, no dollar amount that will ever get Kim to give up the ultimate insurance policy. None.” (10/14/21)