23 February 2016
No country seems able to thumb its nose at the rest of the world better than North Korea.
With this month’s rocket launch, which the international community believes is a prohibited test of its missile technology, North Korea has once again compelled the global powers to search for an answer in managing the new nuclear kid on the block.
With four nuclear tests since 2006 and various missile launches since the early 1990s, Pyongyang has time and again forced the international community to respond by making vehement “condemnations” in addition to imposing an assortment of sanctions.
The optimal outcome is clear — a disarmed and “well-behaved” North Korea connected to the global economy. While no contesting nation, such as the United States, China or even Russia, would be against such a scenario, the overarching question of how to do it at an acceptable price has yet to be finalised.
Despite all the provocations, however, much of the recent responses merely echo previous tactics and strategies used. There is some diplomatic scrambling, followed by no real change in North Korean behaviour. It is safe to say that it is more obvious what will likely not work than what can or should.
… Lee Il Woo is an Associate Research Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Choong Pui Yee is a PhD Candidate at Monash University Malaysia.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/02/2016