Leave North Korea Alone

Despite attempts by the US and its allies to push back against North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the regime's commitment to its nuclear program remains steadfast. With no practical alternative to transform such thinking, the international community must abandon diplomatic efforts and leave the North to fend for itself.

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.

Given these circumstances, America and its allies should abandon diplomatic efforts. They should ignore North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, instead allowing it to stew in its own economic dysfunction, and leaving China to continue propping up its government.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/g3j91wp;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.