Axel Berkofsky, Associate researcher, presents the ISPI Study.
North Korea will continue to remain East Asia’s trouble-maker. Pyongyang’s active missile and nuclear programs leave the region’s main powers - China, Japan, South Korea and the ‘offshore balancer’ US - stay on alert, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Pyongyang has no intention whatsoever to give up and dismantle its missile and nuclear programs as it would leave the country with no bargaining tools to employ for its political blackmail policies. China remains a staunch supporter of the current status quo, i.e. a divided Korean peninsula, not least because a reunified Korea would almost by default become a US ally. Japan on the other hand has lost patience with North Korea long ago. Although a member of the 6-Party Talks, Tokyo’s influence in the multilateral forum has decreased close to zero. [Continue]
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