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Political scientist analyzes nuclear talks with North Korea

Department of Political Science professor Matthew Fuhrmann, an expert on nuclear proliferation, talked to NPR about current nuclear talks with North Korea. He commented: “Nuclear weapons are very good for self-defense, and for preserving the existing status quo,” argues Texas A&M University political scientist Matt Fuhrmann. But he says they’re not especially useful for forcing changes […]

fuhrmannDepartment of Political Science professor Matthew Fuhrmann, an expert on nuclear proliferation, talked to NPR about current nuclear talks with North Korea. He commented:

“Nuclear weapons are very good for self-defense, and for preserving the existing status quo,” argues Texas A&M University political scientist Matt Fuhrmann. But he says they’re not especially useful for forcing changes to the status quo, as in “using nuclear threats to blackmail your adversaries.”

Fuhrmann says that Kim has been “relatively successful” in acquiring nuclear weapons in order to ensure the survival of his regime, and it is unlikely that he could be compelled to give them up.

But using nuclear threats to extract concessions from the U.S., such as security guarantees or the sanctions relief Pyongyang seeks, would be far more difficult. This is because actually using the nukes would all but ensure the regime’s extinction, Fuhrmann says, even if they continue to build their arsenal.

 

Read the full NPR article or more about Fuhrmann’s research.