North Korea as a "quasi-nuclear weapons state"

Matthias Maass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


With North Korea having acquired nuclear weapons capability and a small arsenal, policies that aimed at preventing it from "going nuclear" have failed. New policies are needed. However, it is critical that these new policies take the repositioning of North Korea into proper account. In fact, a paradigm shift is needed. The new paradigm has to be mindful of the changed reality and North Korea's nuclear weapons capacities, but also take into account the need not to undermine the non-proliferation regime. This article suggests conceptualizing North Korea as a "quasi-nuclear weapons state." Doing so would properly capture the changed realities on the ground while at the same time denying Pyongyang formal recognition as a nuclear weapons state. In short, such a paradigm shift, it is argued, would allow for policies to be set up that are realistic but do not legitimize North Korea's actions with regard to its nuclear weapons programs retroactively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-160
Number of pages30
JournalKorea Observer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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