No, what got us here is China and Russia propping North Korea up. Nothing would have advanced without that.
I believe that I’ve posted this image before.
More like a scheme by Jiang Zemin to use them as a shield to hide China’s own human rights abuses.
Equally, the economic aid we promised them not being as lucrative, helpful, or forthcoming as the regime hoped, and thus, having every incentive to fall back into the sphere of Chinese hard liners.
I’ll say it right now, because it’s the reality we face: Either we get China, who now has new leadership that has already tried to get rid of Jung Un, to go that last step and embargo North Korea, or we have to negotiate going forward in a posture of letting North Korea hold onto their nukes.
It is not crazy that they developed them, they are not crazy for clinging to them. It is perfectly rational.
They sense their own growing obsolesce as a military power, and have seen several instances of Allied powers going in and cleaning out regimes in other parts of the world; even when said regimes agreed to stop development on WMDs.
They don’t want to be the next nation on that list, and they see a nuke as the only force that can deter it indefinitely. It is even worth risking the ire of China to have it, as only with a nuke can their security be assured.
That’s how they see it. We will only deter it by robbing them of resources to continue, and only China holds that card.