Apr 21, 2017

What to know about North Korea's "dangerous regime"

Wong Maye-E / AP

The Economist's cover story, "How to deal with the world's most dangerous regime," is one way to get smart fast on North Korea:

"For all his eccentricities, [North Korea's Kim Jong-un] is behaving rationally. He watched Muammar Qadaffi of Libya give up his nuclear programme in return for better relations with the West — and end up dead. He sees his nuclear arsenal as a guarantee that his regime, and he, will survive. (Though it would be suicidal for him to use it.)"

"Mr Trump can do little to change his mind. Economic sanctions that harm his people will not spoil his lunch. Cyber-attacks, which may account for the failure of some recent missile launches, can slow but not stop him. America can solve the Korean conundrum only with China's help.

"The crucial message for Mr Kim as for his predecessors is that, if the North were to use its nukes, the regime would be obliterated. In the long run, reunification is inevitable and desirable. Meanwhile, the junior god-king can be deterred."

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