This past year, Kim Jong-un achieved foreign-policy breakthroughs long sought by his family’s regime through a combination of deft diplomacy, a burgeoning nuclear program, and low-level provocations against the United States and its allies. This has included inflammatory rhetoric, missile launches over Japanese airspace, and cyber-attacks on South Korean companies. There was, predictably, a pause in these provocations in the lead-up to the second Trump-Kim summit in February.
But in the aftermath of Hanoi, Pyongyang is likely to pivot away from a conciliatory tack with the United States. Just days after leader-level talks ground to halt, new evidence emerged suggesting that Pyongyang was rebuilding a missile launch site it had previously indicated it was dismantling. The lack of concerted response to such bad behaviors may ultimately solidify Pyongyang’s judgment that they are an effective long-term strategy for setting the terms of engagement with the United States.
Read the full article in The National Interest.
Read Neil Bhatiya's response.
More from CNAS
CommentaryBreakthrough or Crisis? How Will Coronavirus Impact Tensions with North Korea?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated geopolitical tensions first in Northeast Asia, with the original outbreak in China, and now around the world as the United State...
By Duyeon Kim
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson
The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....
By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt