North Korea occupies a unique place in the thinking of US policymakers insofar as it represents both a direct, physical threat and also a reminder of the limits to American power. In numerous ways, North Korea is anathema to the US: it has fulsomely rejected America’s systems of political–economic organisation, its gradual rapproachment with South Korea threatens to undermine the rationale for America’s military presence in Northeast Asia, and its possession of nuclear weapons threatens the safety of the US and its allies. For these reasons, and despite its lowly standing in the international political system, North Korea continues to severely frustrate the superpower’s interests and thus represents an existential threat to the US.
Topics: The third rogue, Memories of the forgotten war, Southerly change, Confronting the rogue, Coming to terms, Where to now for North Korea?
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