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On Denuclearization of North Korea

Abstract
The article considers the prospects of the DPRK denuclearization. The authors reveal the fundamental differences in the interpretation of the concept of “denuclearization” and analyze the technological capabilities of the DPRK to preserve its nuclear arsenal. They posit that Pyongyang with a high probability has a program of the highest priority for the preservation of the nuclear and missile weapon. It is shown that the DPRK has technological capabilities which allow its leadership to sacrifice the part of the nuclear missile potential without critical damage to its defense capability. It is impossible for the international community to guarantee the security of the DPRK and its ruling class which is of crucial importance when assessing the possibility of the denuclearization. The article reveals strategic inevitability of a deadlock in the negotiations between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in the search for a compromise through abandoning nuclear-missile program in exchange for the lifting the sanctions regime. The domestic state of affairs in the DPRK coupled with the strategic situation in Northeast Asia make real denuclearization without removal of Kim Jong-un from power unreal. The authors assess the potential of various technologies – be it color revolutions or hybrid wars – as well as a risk of direct invasion in the event of a breakdown in the US-North Korean negotiations and an escalation of the military-political situation in the region. Considered adverse factors whose total influence can lead to conflict on the Korean Peninsula in case of talks failure appear to be probable. At the end of the article conclusions useful for the departments responsible for the formation of Russian foreign policy are proposed.

Keywords:
DPRK; denuclearization; USA; nuclear tests; WMD; ballistic missiles; Kim Jong-un.

 


Authors: Konstantin Strigunov, Andrey Manoylo, Elena Ponomareva

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