Strategic deferment: A study of the rogue state, status quo state relationship with a focus on the United States and North Korea
The existing nuclear deterrence literature has, as a whole, overlooked rogue states, and especially North Korea. In the first half of this paper, I present a game-theoretic model that demonstrates the differences between how a rogue state acts with and without nuclear weapons. The second half of this paper is a case study focusing on North Korea, examining how North Korea fits into the model. My analysis of the model results in these conclusions: One, North Korea will respond with nuclear weapons if attacked; Two, a nuclear first strike by the U.S. on North Korea is possible if the nuclear taboo is overcome, and; Third, North Korea will not negotiate away its nuclear weapons. With these conclusions in mind, U.S. policy toward North Korea must accept these conclusions adjust accordingly. If the U.S. does not change its policy toward North Korea, the conflict will not continue without resolution.