Command without Control? Nuclear Crisis Instability on the Korean Peninsula
Purpose-To assess the prospects for managing crises on the Korean Peninsula. Design/methodology/approach-This article investigates North Korea's nuclear behavior using theories of crisis instability, which focus on the actual or perceived incentives of a nuclear weapon state to strike first during a crisis. Findings-Pyongyang's embryonic command and control capabilities mean that rapid escalation to full-scale conflict is a greater prospect than generally acknowledged. Practical implications-This raises questions about the ability of protagonists to avoid escalation resulting from miscalculation in future crises on the Korean Peninsula and has implications for policy makers in devising strategies to deter North Korea from undertaking behavior that risks escalation while reassuring elites in Pyongyang. Originality/value-The article contributes to the literature on nuclear proliferation by challenging overly optimistic assumptions about the behavior of new nuclear powers and it adds value to thinking about how miscalculation during crises on the Korean Peninsula can be avoided.
North Korean Review
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