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After years of accelerated missile development, which culminated in successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and, allegedly, a hydrogen bomb last year, North Korea's nuclear program has become an imminent threat not only to its neighbors, but also to the United States.Yet, on Jan. 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for better relations with the South, before agreeing to participate in the Olympics. According to South Korea's central bank, North Korea's economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016, but may have contracted in 2017 .Kim now seems to have decided that his best hope for boosting North Korea's economy, without reversing progress on its nuclear program, is to weaken the international coalition enforcing the sanctions. Moon himself made it clear last month that no improvement in the South's relationship with North Korea will be possible without denuclearization.To help prevent this outcome, and with Kim refusing to discuss denuclearization with his "brethren" in the South (at whom he claims his missiles are not aimed), Moon now must figure out how to build up the intra-Korea dialogue to enable talks between North Korea and the U.S.
Getting to yes with Kim: Bold decisions, realistic prudence
New South Korean president’s
Ostpolitik with the North
Soul searching in South Korea, ushering a post-Park era
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