There is no shortage of news about North Korea and Kim Jon Un, but the headlines all seem cartoonish to me. Some say he is an evil madman, behaving randomly and erratic; some tell us to be terrified of nuclear weapons that will be on our doorstep at any moment. I take these articles with a grain of salt. And none of them even pretend to say anything about his diplomatic or foreign policy goals, unless his goal is to look crazy.

If I were to believe Kim Jong Un's speech from NYE, it seems he is mostly interested in economic development and possibly reunification with South Korea. He has not rattled the saber threatening invasion, and has not publicly stated any long term policy of expansionism. He has stated a philosophy of juche or self-determinism and independence. Then again, I take political speeches with a grain of salt too. Yet in my google searches I can't turn up anything but Kim's rhetoric or the west's tabloidism.

What publicly available, official documents and executive actions are on the record that give insight into Kim Jong Un's true diplomatic goals? What has he said, on the record, that he wants for his country?

What are his stated goals?

  • I am not sure what your western sources are, but not all of them are tabloïds trying to scare the reader to sell a few more copies. Aug 9, 2017 at 9:40
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    How exactly is this "reunification" supposed to work?
    – user4012
    Aug 9, 2017 at 14:37
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    @user5751924 If you have links to any reasonable sources please write an answer.
    – John Wu
    Aug 9, 2017 at 15:58
  • How are we supposed to know what your definition of a credible source is?
    – Braydon
    Aug 29, 2017 at 1:49
  • At this point I would accept any source that purports to publish a direct quote from Kim Jon Un, or publishes an official document or press release, or the transcript of a statement from NK made before the press, U.N. assembly or any political body, or otherwise made in public in an official capacity. I want NK's words, not someone else's attempts at mind-reading. It is interesting that so many folks have a vivid perception of what Kim wants, but nobody has any idea of what he has actually said. It's almost as if words have been put in his mouth.
    – John Wu
    Aug 29, 2017 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


According to Kim Jung Un's 2017 new year speech, his diplomatic goals are the following:

  1. Defend the country from US and other western power's nuclear threats: He repeatedly highlights that missile system that he is developing is for defensive purposes.

    "We conducted the first H-bomb test, test-firing of various means of strike and nuclear warhead test successfully to cope with the imperialists' nuclear war threats, which were growing more wicked day by day, briskly developed stateof-the-art military hardware, and entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile; we achieved other marvellous successes one after another for the consolidation of the defense capability. This provided a powerful military guarantee for defending the destiny of the country and nation and victoriously advancing the cause of building a powerful socialist country"

  2. They claim to work for peace and re-unification on Korean peninsula. They urge South Korea to "discontinue arms buildup and war games"

    The improvement of inter-Korean relations is the starting-point for peace and reunification, and it is a pressing demand of the whole nation. Any politician, if he or she remains a passive onlooker to the current deadlock between the two sides, can neither claim to be fully discharging his or her responsibility and role for the nation nor enjoy public support. Every manner of abuses and slanders aimed at offending the other party and inciting confrontation cannot be justified on any account, and an immediate stop should be put to the malicious smear campaign and other acts of hostility towards the DPRK, all designed for the overthrow of its system and any other "change."

  3. NK views US as a country "occupying south Korea and tries to realize the strategy for achieving hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region." They also describe the former S. Korean leader as a person who cannot distinguish the real enemy

    We must put an end to the moves for aggression and intervention by the foreign forces including the United States that is occupying south Korea and tries to realize the strategy for achieving hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region, and wage a dynamic pan-national struggle to thwart the moves of the traitorous and sycophantic anti-reunification forces like Park Geun Hye who, failing to see clearly who is the real arch-enemy of the nation, is trying to find a way out in confrontation with the fellow countrymen


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