Defense

Why North Korea's Nuclear Program Can't Be Stopped

Anti-North Korea protesters shout slogans during a rally denouncing North Korea's possible third round of nuclear test in Seoul, South Korea.

Anti-North Korea protesters shout slogans during a rally denouncing North Korea's possible third round of nuclear test in Seoul, South Korea. // Lee Jin-man/AP

Despite years of war, sanctions, threats, and complete ostracizing from the rest of the planet, North Korea continues to defy all attempts to halt their nuclear operations. The state's latest test on Tuesday, its third in seven years, has officials around the globe condemning the regime and calling for new punishments. All sides are calling for a strong response, and the U.N. Security Council was meeting under South Korea on Tuesday morning, but since that international response won't include an all-out war, the only option is more pressure, followed by more negotiations. 

Unfortunately, the world can't negotiate with North Korea, because the world doesn't have anything North Korea wants.

Yes, there are many things it needs — food, power, trade — but the Kim dynasty was been built on the idea that Koreans can and should provide those things for themselves. (Unfortunately, for most of their citizens, that means going without life's basic necessities.) Even the countries that share North Korea's borders and even its worldview — China and the old USSR/Russia — are only nominally considered allies. The Chinese haven't been able to keep the nuclear and missile programs in check, even though Kim Jong-un is as a big headache for Beijing and he is for Washington. The world wants engagement and negotiation; North Korea wants to prove it doesn't need the world.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

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