By: Emerson Vandenberg

In a show of total disregard for global safety, supranational sanction, and international order, the North Korean defense department made the stunning admission on January 24 that its plan for a third nuclear test is in explicit preparation for a possible attack against the U.S.

Referring to the U.S. as “the sworn enemy of the Korean people”, young North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un made it clear that he, like his father Kim Jong-Il, is adamantly indifferent to international pressure.

Although the time and location of the test are not specified, observers predict the Punggye-Ri nuclear site, where two previous tests in 2006 and 2009 took place, will be the location of the third test. Deceptive tactics employed by the reclusive regime, including satellite-fooling counter-signals which disguised a December missile launch, could be employed to mask the event.

The international community has condemned Jong-Un, but action has not been as strong as one would hope in lieu of a direct nuclear threat. In response to the newspaper’s inquiry, Professor Schmid of the University of Toronto’s East-Asian studies department stated that “the U.S., Japan and South Korea have virtually no leverage over the DPRK. There is very little that we can do about North Korea having nuclear weapons.”

Schmid went on to point out that Canada is as guilty as any of allowing unbridled militarism to flourish in North Korea. He states that, although diplomatic relations were established with the rogue state in 2001, Canada has remained incredibly inactive in using this leverage to negotiate.

What is yet to be seen is how China’s ties to North Korea will be affected as a result of this latest conflict. Schmid mentioned that China has already supported UN Security Council resolutions that condemn North Korean activities. As well, growing media weariness within China of the Jong-Un regime has strained relations with North Korean leadership.

At the outset of North Korea’s recent change in leadership, some viewed Kim Jong-Un as a potential game-changer. PolicyMic, a politics and policy news agency, reported that “Jong-Un could soon cooperate more with the West.” Schmid, who acknowledged some of the new leader’s internal policy developments, lamented that Jong-Un “has not made any suggestions that their defence posture will change.”

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