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PacNet #28C – “North Korea’s Missile Test and the Road Ahead” – A Response to James J. Przystup

In “North Korea’s Missile Test and the Road Ahead” (PacNet #28, April 16, 2009) Jim Przystup argues that the recent missile test by North Korea consolidates the political clout of the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, strengthens his hand in managing political succession in North Korea, and the denuclearization of North Korea should be viewed in this context. With political succession looming, Kim will not trade his nuclear arsenal for diplomatic promises of good will as that would loosen his hold on the political succession process.