North Korea and Nuclear Weapons

Entering the New Era of Deterrence

Sung Chull Kim and Michael D. Cohen, Editors

"A valuable new volume of scholarly essays. "
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North Korea is perilously close to developing strategic nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States and its East Asian allies. Since their first nuclear test in 2006, North Korea has struggled to perfect the required delivery systems. Kim Jong-un’s regime now appears to be close, however. Sung Chull Kim, Michael D. Cohen, and the volume contributors contend that the time to prevent North Korea from achieving this capability is virtually over; scholars and policymakers must turn their attention to how to deter a nuclear North Korea. The United States, South Korea, and Japan must also come to terms with the fact that North Korea will be able to deter them with its nuclear arsenal. How will the erratic Kim Jong-un behave when North Korea develops the capability to hit medium- and long-range targets with nuclear weapons? How will and should the United States, South Korea, Japan, and China respond, and what will this mean for regional stability in the short term and long term? The international group of authors in this volume address these questions and offer a timely analysis of the consequences of an operational North Korean nuclear capability for international security.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A New Challenge, a New Debate
Michael D. Cohen and Sung Chull Kim

1. North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: Nonproliferation or Deterrence? Or Both?
Patrick Morgan

2. North Korea's Nuclear Doctrine and Revisionist Strategy
Sung Chull Kim

3. North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and No Good Options? A Controlled Path to Peace
Michael D. Cohen

4. The Unraveling of North Korea's Proliferation Blackmail Strategy
Tristan Volpe

5. Does Nuclearization Impact Threat Credibility? Insights from the Korean Peninsula
Van Jackson

6. The North Korean Nuclear Threat and South Korea's Deterrence Strategy
Chaesung Chun

7. Stability or Instability? The US Response to North Korean Nuclear Weapons
Terrence Roehrig

8. Between the Bomb and the United States: China Face the Nuclear North Korea
Fei-Ling Wang

9. Spear versus Shield? North Korea's Nuclear Path and Challenges to the NPT System
Yangmo Ku

Conclusion: Deterrence and Beyond
Sung Chull Kim and Michael D. Cohen



"A valuable new volume of scholarly essays."—New York Review of Books

"[Has] a strong cast of characters [and] is a good place to go for an introduction."—Peterson Institute for International Economics

"Kim and Cohen's volume on North Korea offers a 360 degree view of one of the most vexing problems for US foreign policy and national security. The authors each bring a unique analytic angle to the problem ranging from deterrence theory to the foreign policies of key protagonists like the United States, South Korea, and China. There is something here for both the expert and the general reader who want to make sense of this enigmatic regime and its increasingly risk-acceptant behavior."—Victor Cha, D.S. Song-Korea Foundation Professor of Government and International Affairs and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University. Former White House NSC director for Asia and US deputy head of delegation for the Six Party Talks, and author of The Impossible State: North Korea Past and Future

"A set of first rate papers address the enduring North Korean nuclear saga and its strategic and political implications. The contributors capture the complexity of deterrence and compellence in Korea and the emerging strategic scenarios while providing fresh light on the choices the regional and international players are making. A must read for all interested in nuclear proliferation and East Asian security."—T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University

"[T]he volume greatly contributes to our understanding of nuclear North Korea and how to cope with it."—Pacific Affairs


Chaesung Chun Michael D. Cohen Van Jackson Sung Chull Kim Yangmo Ku Patrick Morgan Terence Roehrig Tristan Vople Fei-Ling Wang

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Sung Chull Kim is is Humanities Korea Professor at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University. He is also editor of the Asian Journal of Peacebuilding and the author or editor of several books including North Korea under Kim Jong II: From Consolidation to Systemic Dissonance.

Michael D. Cohen is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. His research has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as The Journal of Global Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Strategic Studies Quarterly, and The Non-Proliferation Review.

236 pp., 6 x 9
1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-452-9
May 2017

236 pp., 6 x 9
1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-453-6
May 2017

236 pp.
1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-454-3
May 2017

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