Why the Soviet Union Is to Blame for North Korea's Military Rise

Mark Episkopos

Key point: Pyongyang wouldn't have been able to try to conquer Seoul or survive after the war without Moscow's support. In fact, no Soviet Union would have likely meant no North Korea.

As North Korea continues on a missile test spree described by Pyongyang as a “solemn warning” to South Korea, the specter of open military conflict on the Korean peninsula continues to loom large despite Washington’s ongoing efforts to promote North-South reconciliation.

But how did North Korea become a major regional power, both in terms of its nuclear arsenal and by conventional military metrics?

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