Without this threat, there would be no other way for Pyongyang to obtain Washington’s attention. A North Korea without nuclear weapons is just a regime burdened by economic woes, inflicting human rights abuses on its people, suffering defections and battling with bottom-up marketization. Only with nuclear weapons are they able to maintain their regime, hidden away from the world. This is how they keep their people in chains: through military tension.
But beyond this, the North Korean regime’s ultimate goal is to “eat” South Korea. The final winner of the inter-Korean game will be he, or she, who gains control of the 75 million people on the Korean Peninsula. Until the game is over, the inter-Korean power struggle is sure to continue. This is the very essence of the past 60 years of inter-Korean relations.
In truth, the only thing that is stopping the North Korean regime “eating” South Korea is the U.S., which is why they want the U.S. to leave and are trying to make that happen via a U.S.-North Korea peace treaty and the abrogation of the ROK-U.S. military alliance. Whether this is realistic or not, it is their only survival strategy.
Therefore, North Korea needs to directly or indirectly negotiate with the U.S. Their statements have recently changed: the National Defense Commission revealed on the 24th that its missile and nuclear tests are aimed at the U.S. No more secrets, they said.