Adam Segal, a leading expert on China’s military and technological policies, says that North Korea’s decision to test missiles and explode a nuclear device in the face of Chinese warnings has produced “a great deal of tension” in relations between the two Communist countries. “So for the Chinese it’s not only a loss of face because they had been taking the lead in trying to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table, but I think there’s also a great deal of anger personally at Kim and the Korean military,” says Segal.
Gary Samore, an expert on nuclear proliferation who took part in negotiations with North Korea in the 1990s for the Clinton administration, says the decision by North Korea to test a nuclear device was “a purely political act.”
Alan D. Romberg, a leading expert on Asia, says that in the aftermath of North Korea’s announced nuclear test, and with China and North Korea “angry” at each other, it falls to the United States to try to get six-party negotiations resumed.
Michael A. Levi, a CFR expert on nuclear weapons and technology, says North Korea may have decided to announce plans for a nuclear test to offset signs of “weakness” caused by the failure of its long-range missile.
Michael A. Levi, a CFR expert on weapons technology, says North Korea's missile tests were an effort not only to test these missiles, but to gain a measure of world attention, particularly from the United States, with which North Korea "has a great desire for recognition."
Graham T. Allison interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Graham Allison, a leading expert on nuclear terrorism, says the Bush administration policy toward North Korea of "threaten and neglect" has been a failure. He also warns that faulty U.S. intelligence may be underplaying the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
Aaron L. Friedberg interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Aaron L. Friedberg, an East Asian expert and former deputy national security adviser for Vice President Dick Cheney, says the U.S. program of cracking down on North Korean counterfeiting and other illicit activities is the only way to hope for a breakthrough in the stalled disarmament talks.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »