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.
To date, all diplomatic and technological efforts to prevent North Korea’s nuclear armament have failed. It is only a matter of time until North Korea has nuclear-armed missiles that can reach South Korea and its capital of Seoul, Japan, and even large cities on the West Coast of North America.