Academic journal article North Korean Review

What Are the North Korean Leaders Thinking?

Academic journal article North Korean Review

What Are the North Korean Leaders Thinking?

Article excerpt

Perhaps the most intriguing, if not the most important, question in the relations between North Korea on the one hand, and the United States and South Korea on the other relates to how the leaders of North Korea can make decisions that truly defy the common sense of those whom we believe to be rational people. To cite a few examples, North Korean agents killed four South Korean cabinet-level ministers in 1983, and exploded Korean Air 858, killing all 115 people on board, in 1987. The North Korean military killed a South Korean tourist to Mt. Kumkang in 2008, and even sank a South Korean Navy ship, the Cheonan, in 2010.

While all these hostilities were going on, the North Korean leaders were allowing many of their ordinary citizens to go hungry and starve to death, and at the same time were busy making nuclear bombs and a variety of missiles to cover all distances. In fact, their own acts of hostility have often been a direct cause of the suffering endured by their own people, as indicated by their failed attempt to experiment with a long-range missile in 2012, which led to the cancellation of a food shipment from the United States to North Korea. …

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