February 01, 2023

North Korea’s perfectly logical strategy of missile launches and dialogue

The DPRK wants sanctions relief from the US and a Democratic South Korean president and is working to see both outcomes

A cursory look at the words and deeds of the North Korean government in recent months leaves one somewhat perplexed: Their actions appear to be contradictory.

On the one hand, Kim Jong Un and those around him have been acting tough, flexing their missiles and showing off their technological achievements. In quick succession, they tested a cruise missile, a train-launched ballistic missile and a hypersonic missile, then put all of these in the same room along with the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and other weapons for the “Self-Defense-2021” expo in Pyongyang.