Currently North Korea has turned from a regional threat into an unpredictable global strategic player. This implies that, in the future, we will need to reasonably deal with a Korean power which, however, is anything but irrational in its global choices.
Despite the media’s constant barrage of news pertaining to the Middle East, another region that is strategically imperative to the US is East Asia. The Far East is comprised of economic powerhouses such as China and Japan as well as the vibrant and growing economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and others. East Asia will be the global economic center of gravity in the coming decades.
On February 7, 2016 (Juche 105), the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un orbited an earth observation satellite called Kwangmyonsong-4. This launch is part of the North Korea’s five-year plan for aerospace development – a project to which the North Korean leader attaches great relevance.
According to many nuclear experts, the detonation of a hydrogen bomb in the Punggye-ri site, in Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea is not a realistic fact.
In 1980, on the eve of the final decline of the Soviet-style centralized economies, North Korea - officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - defaulted on almost all its foreign debt, except for Japan’s.
Even in situations where diplomatic negotiations over the North Korean nuclear weapons program are handled in a largely bilateral level, there is still often an element of multilateralism, as exemplified by the late Ambassador Bosworth's briefing to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov regarding DPRK-US bilateral talks in 2009. Now, once again, Russia has received a challenge and an opportunity not only for its diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula, but for its broader relations with other states in Northeast Asia and, in particular, the United States.
Russian President Putin engaged in a bit of saber rattling when he announced that Russia would field more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year. Most news services interpreted the statement as a riposte to NATO’s announcement that it would pre-position heavy armored equipment in NATO’s Baltic members so as to deter Russian poaching.
“I predict that it is in Asia where the fate of the future will be decided.”-Tsar Alexander III
Needless to say, forecasts are extremely difficult to make in international relations, and all the more so when so many factors are in play. The author does not have any special information that he could use to forecast the future. The different miniscenarios are very wide and therefore any of these could reasonably, or unreasonably, be expected to occur.