September 27, 2021

How Washington’s view of North Korea’s reunification plans is shifting

Changing Beltway consensus on why Pyongyang seeks nukes has major implications for U.S. policy

Why does North Korea want nuclear weapons? This seemingly basic question gets at the heart of one of the most divisive and important North Korea-related issues facing American foreign policy analysts, government officials, and military commanders today.

Some believe North Korea’s nuclear program is primarily meant to preserve the Kim family regime and deter a U.S attack on the small mountainous nation. So, the argument goes, negotiations and engagement are permissible as North Korea’s aims are defensive in nature.