In an article from the Texas National Security Review on 13th February, begins by saying that according to most theories of nuclear proliferation, North Korea did not stand much of a chance of successfully acquiring nuclear weapons. As an economically backward, neopatrimonial regime subject to the threat of preventive strikes and war, North Korea should have failed. Few theories gave it a sporting chance of successfully nuclearizing. However, it did it.  What does this say about theories on proliferation?  The article takes stock of how various theories of nuclear proliferation fared in predicting North Korea’s success in acquiring nuclear weapons – few faring well. It traces the history of the North Korean programmes. One of the conclusions is that, given enough breathing room, even a poor a state that wants nuclear weapons badly enough can acquire them, defying sanctions and threats of force — particularly if it has an ally (like China) to shelter it from a strong multilateral coalition.  It also says that offering inducements to adversary proliferators may stand a better chance of success, this is politically challenging for countries like the US.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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