Jeffrey LewisKang on North Korean Nuclear Test

Dave Kang—Associate Professor in the Government Department at Dartmouth and Managing the Atom Research Associate—sends along his thoughts on North Korea’s announcement of an impending North Korean nuclear test:

Will North Korea actually test? What do they hope to get out of it? I think there are two issues to keep in mind. First, the north Korean
leadership may have decided that the benefits of proving their nuclear weapons capability may outweigh even their relationship with China and South Korea. North Korea may be gambling that it can endure further isolation better than it could continued negotiations and interactions with the world. Second, that North Korea has often made announcements that they later do not keep. That is, whether they actually follow through with a test will probably depend on the reactions of the other actors.


  1. Sharon Squassoni (History)

    The announcement seems more like a cry for attention than anything else. If the sanctions really are killing them, they need something big to bring us back to the table. Of course, they are completely unpredictable….