North Korea: Kim Jong Un's Deepening Radicalism
In 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kicked off his second decade in power with a record-breaking year of over 90 missile launches. The recent tests included hypersonic weapons and showcased the regime's latest ICBM, potentially bringing the entire US mainland within range. The diversity of missiles entering operational phase marks the fruition of intense military development under Kim Jong Un's rule. Since the breakdown of denuclearization talks with the US in 2019, his regime has adopted an increasingly hardline stance. Closed borders during the pandemic have made the secretive nation more inscrutable than ever, but internal North Korean documents obtained by NHK paint a picture of tightening controls and an increasingly radicalized ideology driving the regime's actions. As North Korea finds ways to bypass UN sanctions and renews ties with authoritarian allies, how can the world best engage with a state whose nuclear provocations present a growing threat to global security?