September 26, 2023

The hidden danger behind N.Korea’s nuke test

Who, if anyone, is coordinating the military, diplomatic plans the regime is carrying out?

The January 6 North Korean nuclear test is much in the news these days, even though so far the situation seems very much like a re-run of what we have seen three times already: tough talks, promises of retribution, threatening moves and a UN Security Council meeting in the near future. To be short, business as usual.

One can hardly say that the recent nuclear test was something unpredictable. Talks about tests have been around for more than a year, and throughout 2015 North Korean officials kept hinting that such test would happen in due time. The logic of the North Korean decision-making also appears to be quite straightforward and predictable. Nonetheless, there is a problem with the timing of the test, and this problem might be indicative of a new – and, seemingly, inexplicable – pattern in North Korean foreign policy.