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The Dilemma of Nuclear Disarmament: The Case of North Korea


The Hanoi summit between the US and North Korea failed not because of North Korea’s brinkmanship strategy or its miscalculation of the US position on the denuclearisation talks, but because of a fundamental issue: a dilemma of how much to yield in giving up its military capabilities to expedite the lifting of sanctions. The leadership in Pyongyang has concerns about the ‘deliverability’ of its promises to its domestic audience to ensure deterrence capabilities and economic recovery. The two-level game model explains why both sides keep minimising the range of options for the negotiations, increasing the risk that the talks will break down.
Keywords: North Korea, disarmament, denuclearisation, win-set, two-level game