Key point: The future is uncertain, and nowhere is that truer than regarding North Korea.
Mile by mile and person by person, North Korea is the most destabilizing nation on earth. The small, poor and isolated country is building nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles. Americans who once felt invulnerable are worrying about the possibility of nuclear war.
While most everyone agrees that something must be done about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, there is no consensus on what to do. Military action could trigger a destructive war, sanctions might do nothing or trigger regime collapse, and negotiations aren’t likely to result in the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization.So the present crisis appears insoluble. It’s hard to look into the future when today looks so grim: an unpredictable authoritarian regime bent on becoming a nuclear power and that can be stopped only through the very war which Washington has spent more than sixty-four years deterring on the Korean Peninsula.
Yet even as the present threatens to overwhelm, the DPRK’s neighbors should look to the future. What happens if the Kim regime collapses, the North Korean state implodes, and/or the North disintegrates as a nation?