from Asia Unbound

Countering North Korean Brinkmanship

March 29, 2013

Blog Post

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North Korea

South Korea

Diplomacy and International Institutions

United States

I have an op-ed on CNN.com that explains North Korea’s historic patterns of brinkmanship and analyzes whether the current, more extreme round of threats is par for the course or is something new.  My original title for the piece was “What is Behind North Korean Threats,” but CNN named it “Why the North Korea Regime is Scary?”

The new title seems to anticipate North Korea’s bellicose and anxiety-filled declarations that its missile sites are now on alert following a U.S. B-2 practice bombing run to a bombing range in South Korea.  The B-2 bombing run is the latest in a series of U.S. steps intended to deter North Korean aggression while assuring South Korea that the United States is committed to South Korea’s defense. The run appears to have fixed North Korea’s attention.  These actions have made credible the U.S. assertion to North Korea that Pyongyang’s nuclear activities are making it less secure, not more secure.  But now that this message has been delivered, there is a need for the United States and South Korea to offer some clear diplomatic gestures of reassurance toward the North that can help the North Koreans climb down, calm down, and “change course.”

More on:

North Korea

South Korea

Diplomacy and International Institutions

United States

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