Military-first, or Just Desperate? What's Motivating North Korea

Brian R. Myers (L) and John Delury (R) in Seoul on Nov. 25, 2010.

While the Korean War may be "forgotten" in the US, in North Korea the conflict has never ended. From the bombing of the Korean Air flight in 1987, to the Cheonan incident earlier in 2010, to the most recent attack on civilians and military personnel, the level of violence from the North Korean regime seems to be escalating. But what does the regime hope to accomplish with its aggression? 

Was last week's North Korean assult a "provocation" that should be ignored, outspring of a military-first ideology in the DPRK, the desperate throes of a regime in trouble, or the chest-beating of a young, unproven heir to the throne? Last week, Asia Society Korea Center hosted two prominent North Korea watchers, John Delury and Brian R. Myers, who offered two different analyses of the attack. In the press conference, Delury and Myers discussed the historical background of North Korean aggression, as well as what makes this most recent incident particularly shocking.

Check out the video for a lively debate between two prominent experts about what's happened, what it means, and what should be done next. Watch the complete program: Escalation on the Korean Peninsula

Related links:
What North Korea Sees in the Mirror
Brian R. Myers at Asia Society Northern California, Feb. 2010

North Korea Inside Out
Asia Society Task Force report directed by John Delury