On July 4, 2006, North Korea test-fired six missiles in what amounted to a highly provocative taunting of the United States on the American Independence Day holiday. A day later, North Korea fired another missile. North Korea’s provocation is not surprising and it is likely to recur in the future, as it allows North Korea to periodically assert the fundamental basis on which the Kim Jong-il regime is founded. Such a precept will also make it highly unlikely that any kind of meaningful diplomatic breakthrough will be realized through at least the medium-term.Kim Jong-il’s central organizing principle is “Songun.” Songun describes a powerful army-centered state. Kim views the Songun perspective as his immortal contribution to North Korea’s history. A nuclear arsenal forms the centerpiece of Kim’s Songun state. One of North Korea’s state-run media publications, Rodong Sinmum, described the Songun era as follows:Ours is the era of Songun and the Songun idea serves as a militant banner for implementing the idea and cause of Kim Il Sung. The Songun revolutionary cause is a continuation of the process of modeling the whole society on the Juche [self-reliance] idea started by our Party and represents its new higher stage. The Songun idea… Read full this story
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