162

The reasons given by @zidadawatimmy's answer aren't wrong, but the points made in the original post are also well taken. As your decision to post this question in this forum illustrates, this is also a quintessentially political act. These chemical and radioactive weapons seem unusual, complicated, and draw attention. This is a feature and not a bug. ...


100

According to South Korea's National Security Chief, Chung Eui-yong, speaking to the press after a meeting about North Korea with President Trump on March 08, 2018: "I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture. I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s ...


84

From the USA point of view there are two types of arguments. The first ones are those that state that the fewer nuclear capable countries there are, the better1: Fewer nuclear warheads at risk of being captured/sold to rogue actors. Non-nuclear countries are less of a worry if they become unstable. Every foreign country, no matter how friendly, is at the ...


83

There have been a few high-profile ambassadors who did actually defect, the highest being the deputy ambassador in London in 2016. As user4012's answer speculated, the regime does hold family members hostage. From the article: North Korean diplomats generally must leave one member of their immediate family in Pyongyang — the regime’s insurance against ...


70

North Korea is far from the only example. Wikipedia lists a couple of other countries which claim to be democratic but are not, according to 'Western' standards: Many countries that use the term "democratic republic" in their official names (such as Algeria, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, North Korea, Laos, and Nepal) are considered undemocratic "...


69

There are a few reasons I can think of why the DPRK would not want to keep their nuclear ambitions secret: Military Dictatorships are inherently unstable. Kim Jong-Un has almost as much to fear from his own family and generals as he does from anyone outside of North Korea. If he appears to be strong locally, there is much less chance for a coup. This is ...


66

I can't answer about North Korea (as nobody really has much visibility into how they operate), but it's known and clear how other countries (like USSR) did it in the past. It's a combination of: One's family being hostage. If a person defects, their family WILL suffer, and they know it. Oh, and having a family to make suffer is more likely than not a pre-...


66

Because there's no oil in NK. And there's the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, which would make a war with NK a (nuclear?) war with China.


61

The US didn't intervene because Japan was perfectly able to intercept the missiles and chose to not do it. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/28/north-korea-fires-missile-japan Japan’s J-Alert warning system advised people across a large area of northern Japan to seek shelter. Japan’s self-defence forces did not attempt to shoot down the missile and ...


59

It is important to understand the vast geopolitical differences between the two situations of India and Pakistan developing nuclear weapons and North Korea developing nuclear weapons. India/Pakistan Nuclear Development Following Indian defeat in the Sino-Indian War, India decided that it needed some unconventional arms - nukes - to counter China's stronger ...


59

Everyone knows what a gun looks like They are relatively easy to detect, and security personnel may be trained to better spot those carrying a gun. Acquiring a gun, especially for foreigners, can be especially difficult. Sneaking one into the country is more difficult. Knives are similarly "obvious", and require a close range attack. In either ...


58

TLDR: No real law is opposed to their actions and expelling them would suit nobody According to the UN charter, membership is open to is open to all peace-loving States that accept the obligations contained in the United Nations Charter and, in the judgement of the Organization, are able to carry out these obligations Realistically, the peace-loving is ...


56

But where exactly is the line North Korea must cross? Line setting is generally acknowledged as a bad idea. For example, Barack Obama set a red line in Syria about chemical weapons. Then they used chemical weapons. And Obama looked like an idiot when he did not respond with military force. Lines are bad for two reasons. One, they force action if the ...


55

Generally speaking you can always seek asylum, the question is what happens to you afterwards. For what it's worth, North Korea is not a party to the main UN Convention about refugees. So it's not clear whether it recognises the concept at all and it is under no obligation to provide protection to anybody. And even under a generous interpretation of the ...


55

Simply because abandoning territorial claims will do nothing: It will neither eliminate the military threat of the "North" Korea, nor would it relax the tensions. It requires enormous amounts of legal work, including adopting amendments to the Constitution of Korea. This is why: Both governments claimed sovereignty over the whole Korea, however in a ...


53

Trump has definitely had some influence, perhaps by accident or perhaps by design. Because of his nature and our collective inability to understand Kim Jong Un's inner thinking, it's hard to say for certain. My opinion is that most of the credit for the historic diplomatic breakthrough probably goes to China and Xi Jinping. Kim recently travelled to China ...


49

Yes, they have accepted some. Wikipedia lists people from South Korea and the USA, including deserters from the Korean War (there is a British soldier included), for example. Of course, that does not mean that they would accept anybody approaching them.


46

Extortion is a crime in which a criminal threatens to harm someone, unless they pay an amount of money: "Give me £1000, or you will get beaten up". In the Early 90s, North Korea indicated its withdrawal from the Nuclear non-poliferation treaty. This treaty allowed inspector to visit nuclear facilities to confirm that they weren't being used to develop ...


46

Just because a country calls itself something doesn't mean it's true. Point of fact, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is said to have four false statements in its name: It's not democratic, as nobody gets to vote on anything; (EDIT: As CGCampbell points out, everyone does get to vote; it's just that there's only ever one candidate on the ballot and ...


44

If a missile is on a trajectory that takes it into the sea, then shooting it down has a small benefit (you get to practice shooting down live missiles) but a big potential downside: What if you miss. Missile defences are rarely completely reliable. This was seen when Saddam's Iraq was attacking Israel with Scud missiles. The Patriot anti-aircraft missiles ...


43

While Alexander's points are correct and certainly do not help the USA win North Korean sympathies, I think that more than an historical view the answer lies in the current situation: USA is the only foreign power that still has troops stationed in South Korea. USA was the most powerful nation of the UN coalition. The advantage it had in the Korean war has ...


43

WMD were only part of a complex reasoning that led to the Gulf Wars. The West had no serious problems with Iraqi WMD as long as they were aimed at Iran. But then Saddam Hussein miscalculated and went after Kuwait, and suddenly Iraq was a "rogue nation." The enduring hostility from the unfinished 1991 Gulf War led to the 2003 regime change. (...


39

More nuclear powers mean less stability. There used to be two. Then five or possibly six. But France and the UK were closely allied with the US, so adding them to the mix didn't complicate things very much. The US and the USSR faced each other with vast intercontinental arsenals, the Brits tried to menace Moscow in case Washington got wobbly. These days, ...


37

Much of international law is either customary law or created by treaties with different membership. When two states agree on something concerning the two of them, that tends to stand. So trying to draw analogies too firmly is probably futile and misleading. Both the PRC and the ROC agree that there is, in principle, one China. They disagree if the ...


35

Enough deterrent The United States hasn't invaded North Korea in over sixty years. Why does North Korea need nuclear weapons? The existing threat of artillery hitting Seoul is more than sufficient to prevent an invasion. We know this because the US hasn't invaded North Korea to prevent the development of nuclear weapons because of the more conventional ...


34

IANA isn't responsible for allocating IP address ranges to countries. Instead, it delegates allocations to one of the five regional Internet registries. In the case of North Korea, the RIR responsible would be APNIC. Theoretically, the US could mess with APNIC's IP address blocks, but at the risk of angering quite a few people (including - but not limited to ...


33

This is similar to China being recognized as THE China, and Taiwan being recognized as, well, something different. Mainland China always gets very upset when officials from Taiwan are met or dealt with, because they consider that nation to be illegitimate, in their official stance. Similarly, North Korea only enjoys limited recognition from the USA and a ...


31

As a German the message By now it's completely obvious that the Korean peninsula won't be reuniting any time soon. has no merit for me at all. I can assure you as contemporary witness that nobody expected a German reunification as far as 1988, two years before the final reunification. It was a big stroke of luck that Russia had no interest to aid the old ...


31

Here are some more points, albeit rather "informal", from CNN Location, location, location: It's just close enough for Kim to fly relatively easily from Pyongyang. Ties to the US: Singapore is also one of Washington's closest Asian security and trading partners. The embassies: The US and North Korea both have embassies in Singapore. Trading ...


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