Wendell Minnick

North Korea is likely to launch a third nuclear test, based on highly enriched uranium (HEU), writes Wendell Minnick in the Defense News, based on a book by Jonathan Pollack. China nor the US can stop the country’s nuclear program.

Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, launched his book at the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 3 in Singapore. From Defense News:

North Korea conducted two underground plutonium bomb tests in 2006 and 2009, and has been developing advanced long-range ballistic missile capabilities that could someday threaten the continental U.S.

Pollack looks at why North Korea disregards United Nations censure and openly circumvents sanctions by selling weapons and technology to other pariah nations to fund its nuclear program.

North Korea is more of a traditional Korean dynasty and not a communist state, Pollack said. The Kim family has successfully ignored efforts by China and the U.S. to influence it to abandon its nuclear program and adopt capitalist reforms. Instead, the Kim family has created an “impregnable fortress” that protects the family dynasty.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and China’s push towards improved relations with South Korea during the 1980s and 1990s, North Korea became concerned that its traditional protectors would abandon it. The only course of action was to create a mechanism that guaranteed its survivability. Nuclear weapons have clearly served that purpose well, he said.

More details in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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