Security and Defence


Why North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons

20 Mar 2018 - 11:43
Source: Stephan/flickr

It will presumably not take long before North Korea is able to target its ‘arch-enemy’, the United States, with nuclear weapons. Will potential talks between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump be able to defuse the risks of nuclear war? Considering the motivations behind North Korea's nuclear weapons, the chances that it will denuclearize are almost zero.

In his article Research Fellow Sico van der Meer presents an analysis on North Korea's nuclear capacity and why it is highly unlikely that it will denuclearise. Although North Korea will not easily deploy its nuclear arsenal to attack the United States or any other country, one could imagine nightmare scenarios in which it would launch missiles triggered by misperceptions or domestic turmoil. For the short term, the world has very little option but to informally accept North Korea's nuclear status. Diplomacy remains important as a tool to prevent escalation, but a nuclear weapon-free North Korea is not to be expected.

This article was originally published in the Clingendael Magazine in March 2018.