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What North Korea Wants

Recently there have been many theories about North Korea’s sudden and almost comical belligerence. These include the need for a young leader to establish credibility among his generals, to send a message to Seoul’s incoming conservative government, or induce ‘Stockholm syndrome’ in the North Korean people.

Yet a quick media analysis of North Korea’s previous threats suggests a much simpler explanation. They just want more money. Since 1994, there is an almost perfect correlation between the ebb and flow of North Korean threats, and US aid to the country in the form of food, medicines, and supplies.

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