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Reassessment for the DPRK nuclear issue: the root causes and influence of the deadlock

FAN Jishe1

(1.Department of Strategic Studies, Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100720)

【Abstract】Any significant development on the Korean Peninsula has profound geopolitical implications. In more than 20 years since the end of the Cold War, the DPRK nuclear issue has undergone various forms of negotiations and has yet to be resolved. But the DPRK’s nuclear weapon and missile capabilities have been developed by leaps and bounds. Whether the DPRK nuclear crisis can be resolved or how to be solved is likely to reshape the Northeast Asia geopolitical security pattern, and will exert the long-term impact on the relations among the countries related to the DPRK nuclear issue. To explore the future of the DPRK nuclear issue, it is necessary to reassess the basic question related to the DPRK nuclear issue: whether the DPRK already has or will have credible and reliable nuclear capabilities? Will the DPRK have the willingness of nuclear abandonment after its steady progress in its nuclear and missile capabilities? Has the US policy dealing with the DPRK nuclear crisis been drastically changed? This paper believes that the DPRK’s nuclear weapons research and development has gone beyond the key question of “having” or “not having,” but has entered the stage of “more” or “fewer” nuclear weapons stage. Besides, There are many indications that the DPRK has basically given up the willingness to denuclearize. The US focuses on controlling the consequences brought by the DPRK nuclear issue, not on resolving the DPRK nuclear issue. On top of that, the future development of the DPRK nuclear issue will trigger off significant changes in the Northeast Asia geopolitical environment.

【Keywords】 the DPRK nuclear issue; nuclear tests; the Obama administration; six-party talks; denuclearization; geo-security in Northeast Asia;


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This Article


CN: 11-5370/D

Vol 33, No. 04, Pages 35-58

July 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 The DPRK’s nuclear capabilities: the status quo and the trend
  • 2 The DPRK nuclear research and development: from bargaining chips to deterrence means
  • 3 Obama administration’s policy towards the DPRK: consequence management
  • 4 The DPRK nuclear impasse: the consequences and effects
  • Footnote