Dr Namrata Goswami – North Korea’s Grand Strategy

Profile Dr Namrata Goswami LE Mag June 2018

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North Korea’s Grand Strategy by Dr Namrata Goswami, Senior Analyst and Author

Dr. Namrata Goswami is an author, strategic analyst and consultant on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, alternate futures, and great power politics.  After earning her Ph.D. in international relations, she served for nearly a decade at India’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) sponsored think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, working on ethnic conflicts in India’s Northeast and China-India border conflict.  She is the author of three books, “India’s National Security and Counter-Insurgency”, “Asia 2030” and “Asia 2030 The Unfolding Future.”  Her research and expertise generated opportunities for collaborations abroad, and she accepted visiting fellowships at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway; the La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; and the University of Heidelberg, Germany.  In 2012, she was selected to serve as a Jennings-Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington D.C. where she studied India-China border issues, and was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Fellowship that same year. Shortly after establishing her own strategy and policy consultancy, she won the prestigious MINERVA grant awarded by the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (OSD) to study great power competition in the grey zone of outer space.  She was also awarded a contract with Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), to work on a project on “ISIS in South and Southeast Asia”. With expertise in international relations, ethnic conflicts, counter insurgency, wargaming, scenario building, and conflict resolution, she has been asked to consult for audiences as diverse as Wikistrat, USPACOM, USSOCOM, the Indian Military and the Indian Government, academia and policy think tanks. She was the first representative from South Asia chosen to participate in the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies NATO Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) ‘Emerging Security Challenges Working Group.’  She also received the Executive Leadership Certificate sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, National Defense University (NDU), and the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS). Currently, she is working on two book projects, one on the topic of ‘Ethnic Narratives’, to be published by Oxford University Press, and the other on the topic of ‘Great Power Ambitions” to be published by Lexington Press, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield.

Donald Trump Kim Jong-unIn one of the most significant departures from U.S. policy of dis-engagement with North Korea for decades, President Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong-un to meet at a summit level. Scheduled to take place on June 12, 2018 in Singapore, Trump stated in a tweet about the upcoming summit that “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”[1] However, differences have cropped up including remarks made by both U.S. National Security Advisor (NSA), John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence that if North Korea does not give in to U.S. demands of verified de-nuclearization, then the country may suffer the same fate that befell Libya.[2] In response, North Korean Vice President, Choe Son Hui, threatened to abandon the summit calling out Pence’s remarks as “unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya, military option for North Korea never came off the table…as a person involved in the US affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the US vice president.”[3] The ‘hard core’ or so-called ‘maximum pressure’ bargaining strategy adopted by the U.S. before the scheduled summit that if North Korea did not make a deal, it might end up like Libya backfired and at the same time demonstrated that the U.S. could not keep matters quiet till the summit, which is usually how summits of such importance works. The contradictory stands of Trump, Bolton and Pence created enough confusion about what really the intent of the summit was. On one hand, both Pence and Bolton supported a Libyan model for North Korea. On the other hand, Trump stated that he was not in support of the Libyan model. This evocated a fierce counter from North Korea, and the dynamics of peace, which North and South Korea had engineered in their meeting in April, disappeared like an eagle into the distant horizon.

At the heart of the issue is North Korean denuclearization and disarmament, especially the U.S. policy push for the North to give up its nuclear weapons fully and irreversibly. In response to the U.S. policy structure, Kim agreed to stop nuclear tests, and ballistic missile launches. In fact, just before Trump announced he was cancelling the summit, North Korea destroyed tunnels in its only nuclear test sites at Punggye-ri.[4] While not for the first time, Kim’s gesture is significant given North Korea’s escalatory missile tests causing much disquiet in the U.S. in 2017. For instance, on November 28, 2017, North Korea test fired its strongest Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the Hwasong 15, with boosted capabilities to reach anywhere in the continental U.S.[5] This had been preceded by a September 2017 missile test over Hokkaido islands, Japan, that flew 3, 700 kms, and reached an altitude of 770 kms before landing in the Pacific. This test was intended not only at Japan but also at the U.S. territory of Guam.[6]

Hwasong 15In response, Trump, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2017 threatened to totally destroy North Korea.[7] U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in a October 2017 visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea asserted that “North Korean provocations continue to threaten regional and world peace and despite unanimous condemnation by the United Nations’ Security Council they still proceed”.[8] Kim retorted by threatening the US, stating, “the U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table…The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range”.[9] Considering this, it is rather remarkable that Trump accepted an invitation from Kim to meet face-to-face at the summit level.[10] This now cancelled Trump-Kim summit was preceded by a historic South Korea-North Korea meeting in April this year, in which both leaders vowed to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. The Korean meeting witnessed the first North Korean leader to step on South soil since the end of the 1953 Korean war.

While the U.S. Grand Strategy regarding the Korean peninsula is premised on three factors; denuclearization; containing Chinese influence; and maintaining U.S. primacy, what is North Korea’s Grand Strategy vi-a-vis the U.S.? What changed in Kim Jong-un’s strategic calculus that from conducting a ‘verbal’ fight with Trump, he went on to issue a summit invite. Trump changed his rhetoric as well, from calling Kim a ‘little rocket man’ and ‘quite mad’, to “has really been very open and I think very honorable based on what we are seeing.”[11]

When I analyze Kim Jong-un’s signaling last year, in response to threats by the U.S. that all options [including the military option], were on the table, I diagnose four North Korean grand strategic rationales.

  1. Re-unification of Korea
  2. Reassure the U.S. to Put off Pressure
  3. Create a ‘Great Power’ Bargaining Situation
  4. Showcase North Korean Leverage

1. Re-unification of Korea

Inset 2Most Koreans want and cherish re-unification, when their country will once again revert to the status of a powerful country in Northeast Asia. The views on re-unification may differ though between the South and North, with South Korea becoming a vibrant democracy. In the 1940s and 1950s, both countries were authoritarian, and both leaders, Kim II Sung of the North and General Park Chung Hee of the South were military style dictators, and the conditions prevalent in both countries were based on state led economies, authoritarian politics, with great amount of cultural and social similarities.[12] However, South Korea leap- frogged, from a country poorer than Sudan in the 1960s, to one of the richest nations on earth today. The credit for the miracle goes to Park Chung Hee, who “inspired, bullied, beat, cajoled, and enticed the Koreans out of the paddy fields and to the forefront of the industrial world”.[13] Koreans have a great love of learning and their revered ruler is Sejong The Great, depicted as reading a book in mythical lore. The North, on the other hand, has not seen such an economic miracle, has been isolated, and ruled by the Kim family. While the North can boast of advancing its nuclear and ICBM technology, it cannot claim the same for the lifestyle of its people. The South aspires to unification based on a model of liberal democracy and market economy. The use of force, to bring about unification, is ruled out by the South. The North, on the other hand, believes that it is outside forces that tore the two countries apart. Consequently, Kim Jong-un could be strategizing a U.S. exit from South Korea, whose presence, he views as an obstacle to Korean unification as well as a direct threat, more so with the deployment of Theatre High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) and U.S. command of South Korean forces during war. North Korean leaders, from Kim II-Sung onwards to Kim Jong-un views the greatest threat to Korea coming from imperialist forces, the biggest imperialist being the United States. In the 1980s, North Korea argued that “there is no place on the earth that is not affected by the evil influence of the U.S. and there is no country that does not feel the menace of aggression [from the U.S.].”[14] Consequently, the North views South Korea as a colony of the U.S. The North has always aspired to unify the Korean peninsula under its political leadership. Given the aspirations towards Korean unification has 80 per cent support in the South, while views from the North are not clear, it is not too farfetched to highlight this unification rationale given the recent commitment between Kim and Moon to sign a peace treaty and bring to closure the Korean war.[15] This would imply two things; the rationale to deploy the THAAD, the Patriot Air Missile defense system, especially the PAC-2, the MN3A1 Reconnaissance Vehicle as protection against chemical agents in South Korea from the North, would become invalid.[16] Second, the U.S. continues to enjoy Wartime Operational Control (OPCON) of South Korean forces. Consequently, the South Korean military coordinates closely with the United Nations Command led by U.S. General Vincent Brooks, who also heads the U.S. forces there. While it is assumed that during wartime, the U.S. will assume control of all South Korean forces, the South Korean president must agree to that effect. OPCON remains in force till 2020 despite insistence from South Korean President Moon that it should end. [17] A peace treaty between North and South Korea would obviate the need for U.S. troop presence in the Korean peninsula.

2. Reassure the U.S. to Put off Pressure

The North Korean ICBMs constitute a threat to the U.S. homeland. The latest missile, the Hwasong-14 has a range of 6, 700 km; North Korea boasts that it can hit anywhere in the U.S,[18] while U.S experts believe it can hit Alaska. There are speculations that the North is developing nuclear war-heads capable of targeting the U.S. A Japanese government defense white paper warned that the North Korean nuclear capability has advanced considerably, and its ICBMs offer the North the capability to project power on the other side of the planet (Read U.S.).[19] ICBMs are multi-stage solid or liquid fueled rockets, and they carry their weapons payload out of the earth’s atmosphere into space, with the weapon payload re-entering earth and detonating on its target.[20] At the least, while the North’s capability to target the U.S. homeland is still suspect, its Nodong missiles can target both Japan and South Korea, U.S. allies in the region.[21] The development of the Musudan range, as well as the Pukguksong, sub-marine launched surface to surface missile has added to the Korean arsenal.[22] Consequently, Kim Jong-Un has demonstrated missile capability by his rapid launch escalation last year, thereby, making it attractive for Trump to accept a summit with him. For one, it reassures Trump’s base, concerned with the North Korean threat, that their leader is in control of the situation. For another, it assuages Trump’s own need to craft a foreign policy spectacularly his own, as he goes about undoing Obama’s foreign policy legacy, including leaving the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Crafting a peace-summit with North Korea will cement his legacy as the U.S. President to have succeeded in ending the Korean war, and perhaps clinching that Nobel Peace Prize. The summit idea has been utilized by Kim to offer reassurances to Trump, his voter base, as well as commit to stop testing those pesky missiles, a U.S. goal. After all, 2020 is around the corner and a successful North Korea policy offers Trump enormous bragging rights, notwithstanding the fact that the summit has been postponed.

3. Create a ‘Great Power’ Bargaining Situation

Kim Jong-un’s willingness to meet Donald Trump took China by surprise. While expressing disapproval about North Korea’s nuclear adventures, China has worked behind the scenes to bring about dialogue with North Korea, via the Six party talks, as well as offering it financial aid and loans, at a time when other countries have imposed sanctions. China’s role in the Korean war of 1950 was instrumental in turning the U.S. and South Korean forces, from North Korean territory, especially undermining their goal of Korean unification and maintaining the North Korean ‘buffer’ for China.[23] This rationale remains in place today especially given the THAAD and U.S. troop presence in South Korea. However, in recent years, China have been part of U.N. sanctions, vis-à-vis North Korea and have expressed dissatisfaction regarding its testing of nuclear bombs. In reaction to such a test in 2016, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement that read, “China firmly opposes this…we urge North Korea to fulfil its promises of denuclearization and stop any actions that would worsen the situation”.[24] Speculations abound that after Kim Jong-un took over power in 2011, North Korea’s relations with China deteriorated. In light of that, his willingness to meet Trump in a summit meeting blindsided China and improved Kim’s leverage with President Xi Jinping. Not surprisingly, immediately after the announcement of the Kim-Trump summit, China suddenly found itself sitting on the sidelines. Scrambling to set matters right, an invitation to Kim Jong-un was perhaps issued for a visit to Beijing in April 2018 followed by a second visit soon after, visually captured giving the impression that somehow China was behind the idea of the summit. I suspect that Kim used the Trump summit to send a message to China, ‘fine, you can ignore us, but we will surprise you by taking decisions whereby, you (China) are no longer the mediator”. That is great power bargaining at its best. It shows that Kim understood Trump’s tactic of rhetorical escalation, as someone who would not hesitate to meet Kim, being an unconventional President, and he played right into China’s insecurity of a thaw in U.S-North Korea relation, and the loss of a buffer perhaps.

4. Showcase North Korean Leverage

In recent weeks, North Korea has upped the ante, by expressing anger at joint U.S-South Korean military exercises and going ahead and cancelling North-South Korean high-level talks. The North’s official media went so far as to threaten cancelling the Trump-Kim summit in lieu of military exercises. North Korean press noticed Trump’s boast that his hard-core diplomacy had brought about a change in North-South dynamic as well as North Korea agreeing to stop nuclear tests by declaring that “There are some arguments describing the improvement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula as ‘result of hard-line diplomacy’ of the U.S. and ‘result of sustained pressure…it seriously chills the atmosphere of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue and is of no help to the development of the situation.”[25] In fact, there were reports that the U.S. scaled down the military exercise on South Korea’s request especially since the exercise involved the B-52 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In North’s perspectives, all such exercises are a prelude to invade North Korea. The exercise ultimately was run in Japan’s airspace, instead of the Korean airspace in a concession to North Korea. North Korea issued statements criticizing the U.S. demands for denuclearization. Kim Kye Gwan, Vice Foreign Minister for North Korea stated that “If the US is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-US summit,”.[26] President Trump’s cancellation of the summit is due to North’s insistence that it has no interest in nuclear disarmament, one of the key factors of U.S. grand strategy towards North Korea. Trump appeared to blame the Chinese President’s meeting with Kim as perhaps a reason why Kim is suddenly belligerent on the U.S. with little understanding or realization that a joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises that includes drills of nuclear drops on North Korea and land invasion, so close to the summit, is perhaps the wrong signal to send, especially when both countries have committed to dialogue with the North.

This is not the first time such mixed signals have led to failure of dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea. As South and North Korea signed a re-unification agreement in 2000 and the U.S. was working towards getting North Korea to agree to nuclear disarmament, President George W. Bush in his 2002 ‘State of the Union’ address declared North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and included it in his famous ‘Axis of Evil’. Consequently, in 2002, North Korea demanded IAEA inspectors leave its territory, and resumed operations on its nuclear facilities.  In January 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and restarted its nuclear reactor that was frozen under the 1994 Agreed Framework.

Inset 1It remains to be seen whether the cancelled June 12 Trump-North Korea summit will be rescheduled sometime later. Within the Trump administration, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in favor of negotiating with Kim, NSA John Bolton, wrote two pieces before becoming NSA that made a legal case for preemptive strikes against North Korea. In his piece for The Wall Street Journal, Bolton argued that the threat from North Korea is imminent and given the “gaps in U.S. intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute. That would risk striking after the North has deliverable nuclear weapons, a much more dangerous situation”.[27] Bolton quotes Pompeo, then CIA Director, who specified in January 2018 that the North was months away from being able to deliver a nuclear warhead on the U.S..[28] On April 29, Bolton advertised the 2003-2004 Libyan model for North Korea (we all know Gaddafi’s fate after Libya gave up its nuclear weapons) stating that it will include a verified denuclearization. Bolton specified that the U.S. was also looking at what North Korean had committed to in order to give up nuclear weapons in 1992.[29] Bolton, a lawyer, by training, is well equipped to make a legal case as well as point out the limits of international law in dealing with a case such as this. Pompeo, on the other hand, is more careful when it comes to striking North Korea and may not like to disrupt the peace in Northeast Asia. He has been at the forefront on negotiations with North Korea including making two secret trips (early April as CIA Director, and May 2018 as U.S. Secretary of State) to the North to meet Kim. Pompeo may have ambitions to do a ‘Kissinger and Mao’ with Kim but mixed signaling from the Trump administration, overt military exercises just weeks before the summit, and Bolton and Pence’s push for the Libya model has derailed the summit for now. North Korea has already pushed back on the Libya model with anger prompting Trump to contradict Bolton, staying that any deal with North Korea would include a promise of keeping Kim in power, “would be “something where he’d be there, he’d be in his country, he’d be running his country, his country would be very rich.”[30]

The U.S. appears to lack a strategy regarding North Korea, or if I were to offer a more flattering perspective, perhaps Trump believes that like the world of business, mixed signals works rather well as ‘pressure points’ to coerce and/or persuade the other side to offer concessions. However, nation states do not behave like corporations, given their history, national pride, geographic location, layers of societal involvement, and strategic culture. Given North Korea’s history, and its foreign policy behavior of committing to nuclear disarmament, and then backing off, it will be interesting to see how the Trump Administration addresses the most critical concern for the U.S; Korea’s nuclear weapons capability. For Kim, improving relations with the U.S. means lifting of economic sanctions, a pressure point for bargaining vis-à-vis China, and ensuring that the proximity of U.S. presence in South Korea is addressed, especially given the fact that he has the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in fully sold to the idea of South-North dialogues. The fact that the April ‘Korea summit’ was broadcasted live to the world shows the extent to which South Korea is invested in bringing about permanent settlement. We know for posterity that Kim Dae-jung, President of South Korea from 1998 to 2003 won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring about North-South dialogue. The image of Kim stepping into the south side of the DMZ has deep emotional resonance in South Korea, as well as Moon stepping to the north of the DMZ. The desire for reunification is indeed embedded in Korean society and is part of popular culture including K-Pop.[31]  Least understood in U.S. policy making circles is this aspect of South Korean societal involvement in the idea of unification. Moreover, the aspect of China and its hold on North Korea cannot be wished away. For China, North Korea constitutes their strategic buffer vis-à-vis the U.S. Consequently, it will be Moon and Kim who must decide what the future will hold, and whether they have any independent agency at all given the presence of Great Powers [U.S. in South Korea and China in North Korea]. The world waits and watches the unfolding drama. In the meantime, Kim will hold on tightly to his survival weapons.

[1] Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, “Trump Announces North Korean Summit will be in Singapore”, CNN, May 10, 2018 at https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/10/politics/singapore-donald-trump-kim-jong-un/index.html (Accessed on May 23, 2018).

[2] David Chol, “Mike Pence Issues Warning to Kim Jong un if the North Korean Leader ‘doesn’t make a deal’ with Trump”, Business Insider, May 21, 2018 at http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-pence-north-korea-libya-model-kim-jong-un-summit-2018-5 (Accessed on May 24, 2018).

[3] David Chol, “North Korea Claps Back at Mike Pence’s ‘Ignorant and Stupid’ Remarks Leaving Summit with the U.S. Hanging in a Thread”, Business Insider, May 24, 2018 at  http://www.businessinsider.com/north-korea-mike-pence-us-summit-threatened-2018-5 (Accessed on May 24, 2018).

[4] “North Korea Nuclear Test Tunnels at Punggye-ri Destroyed”, BBC, May 24, 2018 at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44240047 (Accessed on May 24, 2018).

[5] “Kim Jong un Warns “button for nuclear weapons is on my table”, CBS News, January 1, 2018 at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kim-jong-un-north-korea-completed-nuclear-forces/ (Accessed on January 4, 2018).

[6] Joshua Berlinger, “North Korea’s Missile Tests: What You Need to Know”, CNN, December 3, 2017 at http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/asia/north-korea-missile-tests/index.html (Accessed on January 4, 2018).

[7] Ali Vitali, “ Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea in First U.N. Speech”, NBC News, September 21, 2017 at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-un-north-korean-leader-suicide-mission-n802596 (Accessed on December 5, 2017).

[8] Phil Stewart, “Mattis Talks Diplomacy on North Korea Ahead of Trump’s Asia Tour”, Reuters, October 26, 2017 at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/mattis-talks-diplomacy-on-north-korea-ahead-of-trumps-asia-tour-idUSKBN1CW04W (Accessed on January 4, 2018).

[9] “Kim Jong un Warns “button for nuclear weapons is on my table”, CBS News, January 1, 2018 at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kim-jong-un-north-korea-completed-nuclear-forces/ (Accessed on January 4, 2018).

[10] “Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit Set for Singapore on June 12”, BBC News, May 10, 2018 at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44074257 (Accessed on May 18, 2018).

[11] Zachary Cohen and Kevin Liptak, “Trump Praises Kim Jong Un as Honorable, Refuses to Explain Why”, CNN, April 25, 2018 at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/24/politics/trump-kim-jong-un-honorable/index.html (Accessed on May 18, 2018).

[12] John Feffer, “Korean Reunification: The View from the North”, The Huffington Post, June 16, 2016 at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-feffer/korean-reunification-the_b_7597430.html (Accessed on May 20, 2018).

[13] Stephen Evans, “Easy, Tiger: Inside South Korea’s Economic Miracle”, Management Today, May 22, 2017 at https://www.managementtoday.co.uk/easy-tiger-inside-south-koreas-economic-miracle/any-other-business/article/1431944 (Accessed on May 20, 2018). Also see Kwan S. Kim, “The Korean Miracle (1962-1980) Revisited: Myths and Realities in Strategy and Movement”, Kellogg Institute, Working Paper 166, November 1991, pp.1-63 at https://kellogg.nd.edu/sites/default/files/old_files/documents/166_0.pdf (Accessed on May 20, 2018).

[14] Park Young Ho, “South and North Korea’s Views on Unification of the Korean Peninsula and Inter-Korea Relations”, Brookings Institutions, at https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Park-Young-Ho-paper.pdf (Accessed on May 20, 2018), p. 6.

[15] “Koreas to Sign Peace Deal, Pursue ‘Complete De-nuclearization”, Al Jazeera, April 28, 2018 at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/koreas-sign-peace-deal-pursue-complete-denuclearisation-180427105506660.html (Accessed on May 20, 2018).

[16] Kyle Mizokami, “Here are the Five Weapons the U.S. Army will need for the Next Korean War”, The National Interest, November 5, 2017 at http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/here-are-the-5-weapons-the-us-army-will-need-the-next-korean-23037 (Accessed on December 5, 2017).

[17] Brian Padden, “South Korea Wants Wartime Control of its Military”, VoA, September 28, 2017 at https://www.voanews.com/a/south-korea-wants-out-of-us-military-control/4047790.html (Accessed on December 5, 2017).

[18] Kanga Kong, “North Korea Says Nuke Push Complete as Entire U.S. in Range”, Bloomberg, November 28, 2017 at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/north-korea-says-nuclear-program-completed-after-new-icbm-test (Accessed on May 18, 2018).

[19] Tomohiro Osaka, “Japan’s Defense Ministry Warns of North Korean Nuclear, Missile Advances in Annual Report”, The Japan Times, August 8, 2017 at https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/08/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-defense-ministry-warns-north-korean-nuclear-missile-advances-annual-report/#.WwXjA0gvzD4 (Accessed on May 23, 2018).

[20] “What We Know about North Korea’s Missile Programme”, BBC, August 10, 2017 at  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17399847 (Accessed on May 24, 2018).

[21] “Mark Fitzpatrick: Getting Serious about North Korea”, IISS, Politics and Strategy, The Survival Editors’ Blog, April 15, 2016 at https://www.iiss.org/en/politics%20and%20strategy/blogsections/2016-d1f9/april-6904/getting-serious-about-north-korea-ccb3 (Accessed on May 18, 2018).

[22] “What We Know about North Korea’s Missile Programme”, n.20.

[23] Robert Farley, “Deadly Lessons: The Last Time America Went to China and America Went to War”, The National Interest, October 29, 2014 at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/deadly-lessons-the-last-time-china-america-went-war-11558 (Accessed on May 22, 2018).

[24] Simon Denyer, “Reported North Korean Nuclear Test Signals Snub of China. Fraying Ties”, The Washington Post, January 6, 2016 at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-snub-for-china-north-koreas-reported-nuclear-test-shows-beijings-waning-influence/2016/01/06/b0d309e9-a5a4-4cd4-b12a-ab352a53c0cc_story.html?utm_term=.984968e3dfba (Accessed on May 25, 2018).

[25] Eric Talmagde, “As Summit Looms, North Korean Media Return to Angry Tone”, Chicago Tribune, March 22, 2018 at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-north-korea-summit-20180522-story.html (Accessed on May 22, 2018).

[26] Alex Ward, “North Korea is Already Getting Concessions Ahead of Trump-Kim Talks”, Vox, May 18, 2018 at https://www.vox.com/2018/5/18/17368468/north-korea-trump-usa-south-korea-b52 (Accessed on May 22, 2018).

[27] John Bolton, “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First”, The Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2018 at https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-legal-case-for-striking-north-korea-first-1519862374 (Accessed on May 23, 2018).

[28] Ibid.

[29] Tim Harris, “John Bolton: North Korea will follow ‘Libya 2004’ Model of Verified Nuclear Denuclearization”,  Real Clear Politics, April 29, 2018 at https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/04/29/john_bolton_north_korea_will_go_by_libya_2004_model_of_denuclearization.html (Accessed on May 23, 2018).

[30] Patrick Goodenough, “Trump: We’re Not Looking at the ‘Libya Model’ for North Korea, But a Deal That Would See Kim Jong un ‘Running his Country”, CNS News, May 17, 2018 at https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/trump-were-not-looking-libya-model-north-korea-deal-would-see-kim (Accessed on May 24, 2018).

[31] “One Dream, One Korea”, at https://www.sbs.com.au/popasia/blog/2018/04/30/korean-reunification-song-featuring-k-pop-idols-back-spotlight (Accessed on May 23, 2018).

© Dr Namrata Goswami