North Korea raises questions. Since Kim Jong-un took the reins, hopes of a new détente in the peninsula have been dashed by increasingly frequent provocations by Pyongyang – missiles launches and nuclear tests – with potentially disastrous regional consequences. In this way, North Korean actions prompted the issue missile defense to become a new locus of tensions between regional powers. From these developments, two fundamental questions arise: what capabilities does North Korea have? What does North Korea want? In a two-part analysis, we seek to uncover the fundamentals in technology and diplomatic history that are needed to address such questions. This is the first part of the analysis. It conveys a simplified picture of the stakes involved in deterrence and missile defense in the peninsula.
Crédit photo : Parade militaire à Pyongyang exhibant le nouveau missile intercontinental « KN14 » dont les capacités restent inconnues (Source : Arms Control Wonk)