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Title: North Korea: Possible scenarios
Author: European Parliament: European Parliamentary Research Service
Series/Date: Briefing September 2017
Source Origin: EU
Source Type: Article - Blog/Journal/Series
Notes: On 3 September 2017, North Korea conducted a sixth nuclear test, its most powerful yet, claiming to have successfully tested a miniaturised hydrogen bomb that would fit in an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The North Korean crisis, which has a long history, has now the potential to develop into a large-scale conflict affecting a large variety of actors across the globe. Pyongyang has become a global threat combining increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons and missiles programmes that could strike the USA and even Europe. This has been made possible by the international community's lack of a common strategy and Chinese support for the North Korean regime.

All the while, this 'hermit kingdom', which a 2014 United Nations (UN) report accused of crimes against humanity, has continued to feed its traditional anti-American rhetoric and has succeeded in taking its devastating human rights record off the international agenda.

As the international community tries to resolve the current crisis, analysts have identified a number of possible scenarios: reinforcing international sanctions to push Pyongyang to the table to negotiate an agreement to renounce its nuclear programme in exchange for economic support and a guarantee of not being attacked; performing a pre-emptive strike against its nuclear sites, undergoing the risk of retaliation against Seoul; and assenting to North Korea's demand to be recognised as a de facto nuclear power and to conclude the peace treaty that was never signed at the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War ─ which ultimately is Kim's real goal and the reason for this escalation.

Author: Enrico D'Ambrogio
Source URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/608681/EPRS_BRI(2017)608681_EN.pdf
Homepage URL: http://libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com/
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Keywords: Relations between the European Union and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea | DPRK | North Korea - Nuclear programme | weapons - UN Resolution 2321 - Balistic Missiles programme - ICBM - Role of China - The Korean War - Relations with Republic of Korea | South Korea
Subjects:  18.15.e - The Far East
Geographic Indicators:  European Union
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