For Pyongyang, it always pays to provoke, writes Sung-Yoon Lee, a Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies, Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. A small step back does not connote a genuine peace overture, but a strategic decision to confuse the adversary.
Pyongyang has waited long for this day, when Americans are beginning to mesmerize themselves into believing they can live with a nuclear North Korea. But the Kim regime has to live with a far more successful, legitimate, attractive Korean state across the border. This internal dynamic of the Korean peninsula compels Pyongyang to continue to threaten war. Exporting insecurity is not only a means to reaping concessions from abroad and thwarting absorption by the rich and free South, but also essential to dominating Seoul.
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