North Korea flag Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Storm Clouds Over Korea

A military conflict on the Korean Peninsula would carry incalculable regional and global risks, and could even precipitate a larger clash among nuclear-armed great powers. Ultimately, a joint US-Chinese effort to revive the Six-Party Talks with North Korea is the only sensible response to the brewing crisis in the region.

BERLIN – Decades after the end of the Korean War and the partition of Korea, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula remains one of the most dangerous and intractable problems of our time. And today it is more dangerous – and seemingly intractable – than ever.

The North Korean regime is a remnant of the Cold War – a Stalinist dinosaur that has survived to the present day, whereas South Korea has rapidly become an economic and technological power in the region. And China, North Korea’s most important ally and only financial backer, has pursued an increasingly successful modernization policy.

These developments have left the North Korean regime isolated and justifiably fearful for its future. So, to ensure that its brutal dictatorship survives, the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, led by the Kim clan, hit upon the idea of developing nuclear weapons and the systems needed to deliver them.

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