LOS ANGELES – North Korea continues to befuddle the rest of the world. For several months, reports have circulated that the country may test its third nuclear device, which some speculate will be a uranium bomb drawn from the country’s enrichment program. But, whether or not the rumors prove to be true, the regime is sending a clear message, which it has enshrined in a new constitution that was made public in April: North Korea is “a nuclear-armed state” that will not abandon its weapons program.
The United States and others continue to seek ways to push back, but to no avail. North Korea’s nuclear commitment remains steadfast, reflected in its continued weapons tests, rocket launches, and production of nuclear materials. To imagine that new diplomatic incentives – whether carrots or sticks – will inspire North Korea’s leaders to reverse course is unrealistic. For the regime and its supporters, nuclear weapons provide a crucial security blanket.