Fletcher in the News

Kim Jong-Un Will Use Nuclear Tests to Reset Relations in Region: Prof. Lee

The New York Times

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Test Seen as Push by Kim for Credibility

By defying warnings not only from the United States but also from its ally China to detonate a nuclear device on Tuesday, Kim Jong-un was trying to increase his status as a worthy leader among his people in North Korea and as a foe to be taken seriously among the nations his government considers its enemies. …

… With the nuclear test on Tuesday, Mr. Kim appeared to have chosen the defiant path for now, and analysts said there was good reason for that.

“Now is a particularly opportune time for Kim Jong-un to reset his relations with the powers in the region,” said Lee Sung-yoon, a North Korea specialist at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. “Pyongyang will calculate that after a decent interval of three or four months, its adversaries will return to negotiations, possibly with bigger blandishments in tow.”

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