Given the low probability of high-level negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang soon taking place, those in the first circle of power around Supreme Commander Kim, who favour a nuclear test, appear to be prevailing.
Given the low probability of high-level negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang soon taking place, those in the first circle of power around Supreme Commander Kim who favour a nuclear test appear to be prevailing in the ongoing argument over whether the nuclear device newly developed by the DPRK should be tested soon or not. If Kim Jong Un accepts such a view, the test by the DPRK of a thermonuclear device will take place before long. Once that happens, even to the hardline new administration in Seoul, the view on the other side of the 38th parallel is that it would become clear that policies based on going along with US-Japan efforts at regime change in Pyongyang would only lead to “unbearable rise in tensions and a cloud of crisis and uncertainty” that would affect economic prospects in South Korea severely. For those in Washington, Tokyo and perhaps Seoul who are eager to punish the people of North Korea by harsher sanctions for the decisions of their unelected government, it may be pointed out that sanctions have not worked in stopping the nuclear and missile programmes of the DPRK. Neither, halfway across the world, have they succeeded in deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from taking control of more and more territory in Ukraine, even as the disastrous effects across continents of the escalating Biden-Johnson sanctions on Russia push up global inflation and shortages, and bring Johnson and Biden closer towards a political meltdown.