North Korea's Dangerous Game: The leadership in Pyongyang may be inscrutable, but its actions are far from irrational.

North Korea’s highly provocative and risky behavior has led many to declare the country’s leaders to be unhinged. While North Korean leadership politics are inscrutable and regime collapse is always a possibility, there is nothing that indicates Pyongyang acts irrationally on the international stage. To the contrary, the DPRK, with a GDP lower than Mozambique, has consistently punched above its weight. U.S. and Chinese core interests diverge in North Korea, but neither side is interested in seeing heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula spill over into the wider region.

Yevgen Sautin is a CSIS Pacific Young Fellow. He was previously a Boren National Security Fellow at the National Taiwan University.

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