October 23, 2021

What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means for North Korea

Pyongyang hardliners may think their idea of reunification is real again, but Korea differs vastly from Afghanistan

The North Korean leadership likely views the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as a positive development for its strategic ambitions. 

Since the inception of the DPRK in 1948, Pyongyang has officially claimed to be the legitimate government of the entire Korean Peninsula and officially pursues reunification as an inter-Korean policy goal. Despite the rapid development of South Korea’s economy and military, the North has not abandoned its goal of reunification under its terms. The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan may signal to Pyongyang that the U.S. military presence in South Korea is not forever and reinvigorate the idea of a red star flag flying over Seoul.