No Exit Review

1020 words - 5 pages

North Korea’s nuclear aspirations and capabilities are a major concern for Americans as well as the rest of the World. A concern that is fully supported when looking at the relentless effort North Korea has put into fulfilling its “military first” strategy. Above all else North Korea has made it a point to improve its military at the expense of its economy and its citizens. With the idea of a “military first” system it is hard to imagine that North Korea ever truly wanted nuclear reactors for the sole purpose of energy. More important to understanding this policy, is the history of North Korea. Jonathan Pollack goes into detail about the history and the emergence of Kim Il-Sung ...view middle of the document...

There was a shift in policy when Sung passed the power to his son; Sung felt like it was essential for the country to possess nuclear arms when he handed his power to his successor, Kim Jung-Il. After this change in rule North Korea begins to be much more radical than they had in the past. Kim Jung-Il was far less diplomatic than his father. He did not regularly visit other heads of state in Russia or China, and he did not have the same relationship with the public as his father. In the previous era Sung had made a point to make public radio statements to inform the public on the current status of the country, and on his plans. Jung changed this to a once yearly newspaper article. The state of the economy has since further declined coinciding with Russia providing lesser and lesser support.
Regardless of the failing economy or the struggles that the North Korean citizens face, a nuclear state remains central in government policy. They spare no cost to ensure that the nuclear program continues to grow. Pollack regards this view as opposition nationalism; nuclear weapons come from a deep emotional belief about power, identity, and risk. Kim Jung-Il followed this even more so than his father, he held even stronger beliefs about North Koreas need for nuclear weapons. Jung will let the country fall before he is willing to negotiate giving up his nuclear status. North Korea “does not treat nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip, and instead views these weapons as central to its identity and security planning”.
So what does the future hold for North Korea? Pollack explains that there are three possibilities: a hard landing, a soft landing, and no change. A hard landing would include the country falling from power, and some sort of revolution, which no one wants to see because they are fearful of the unknown. A soft landing would involve key changes of the internal affairs of the country that would change...

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