Defence Committee report is solid, but North Korea may have its own ‘rationale’ for action


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The Henry Jackson Society today commented on the release by the Defence Select Committee of a report on North Korea – Rash or Rational? North Korea and the threat it poses.

Dr John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, said:

“The Committee is right to note that North Korea’s attitude makes it more likely that weapons may fall into the hands of those hostile to the UK; and that we must watch for attempts to circumnavigate sanctions, especially efforts to hack bitcoin banks and mine cryptocurrencies.

“However, the report says that North Korea wants nuclear weapons for prestige and survival. This fits a recent trend where we pretend to know what the regime is thinking without giving any credence to the possibility that they may want to use the weapons for nuclear blackmail, forced unification, or even deterrence in concert with a conventional attack on the South.

“This may sound unlikely, but North Korea may act according to its own ‘rationale’. If that includes unifying the Korean people – as defectors have testified – then we would be doing ourselves and the South Koreans a disservice not to take it into account.”


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