This is the English version of our short article that recently appeared in Italy’s LiberoReporter:
North Korea has been busy recently… Early in September North Korea conducted its fifth (and most powerful to date) test of a nuclear weapon. Then, just days ago, North Korea tested a high-powered rocket engine that could be used on ballistic missiles.
This recent activity by North Korea is consistent with its policy of intentionally maintaining the country on a permanent war footing. The ruling Kim family has long used the imminent threat of war as a mechanism by which to control the population of North Korea. However, the more recent acquisition of nuclear weapons can be viewed as something of an insurance policy – insurance that an outside power like the United States will not seek regime change in North Korea. North Korea watched the United States overthrow Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then help to overthrow Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi after he voluntarily abandoned his country’s nuclear weapons program and does not intend for the same to happen to them. Thus, to shelter their dynasty from both perceived internal and external threats, the complete militarization of North Korean society suits the Kim family quite well.
However, history has shown that every dictatorship eventually gets toppled. How will North Korea’s many soldiers react then? Will they embrace the outside world or lash out against it? Or even against each other in a civil war?