A Nuclear North Korea and Strategic Stability in East Asia
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- IFS Insights 
North Korea continues to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons despite international condemnation and increasing political and economic isolation. While war is unlikely, expectations of denuclearisation seem optimistic. Ongoing tensions will likely have substantial short-term and long-term regional strategic implications. • North Korea is and should be assessed as a rational actor. North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes will likely continue despite international pressure. • North Korea’s actions are exposing weaknesses and driving alterations in regional security policies. • China’s influence over North Korea is weaker than commonly understood. • The potential for instability arising from nuclear proliferation and the spread of missile defence systems is rising.