The path forward for dealing with North Korea
Korean unification: Prospect and global implications
Prospects for the Korean peninsula: Views from Japan and the United States
[North Korea has used its nuclear and missile tests to] establish strategic relevance in the region. We can’t underestimate how North Korea was devastated during the Korean War, so the Kim family’s goal is to ensure the country’s survival, but also their own survival. [Their missile program] was for all of those things — deterring the U.S., deterring South Korea, deterring Japan.
Under Kim Jong Il’s rule, a useful way of understanding the dynamics of North Korea and the U.S. is the idea of cycles. North Korea comes to dialogue, then retracts, using the U.S.’s ‘hostile policy’ as an excuse to conduct missile or nuclear tests, then re-enters dialogue to dampen sanctions implementation or reduce tension.