This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Four CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics in this volume include the possibility of a war with North Korea, and the rise of far-right militancy in the United States. The volume also includes an assessment of the impact of the Islamic State in the relations between Russia and the United States, and a discussion of Turkish politics and its effect on NATO's cohesion.
feel reliant on their leader, but also revere him. So they heavily support having an advanced military program, and applaud public rhetoric against the US. For the most part, the citizens of the DPRK view having a national nuclear arms program as crucial for their defense against Western power. In terms of national security, the DPRK has everything to gain by finding ways around sanctions and expanding its nuclear and missile programs. But it truly has everything to lose by engaging in full-scale conflict. Any conflict that would bring the UN against the DPRK would almost certainly involve the US, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China, which could have long-term global implications. These parties understand the notion that any war involving the DPRK could have potentially devastating consequences, as nuclear or chemical weapons could be utilized. In order to properly handle the DPRK threat, the US must find a way to agree on a cap in the production of nuclear materials, because there are no other realistic options. Rhetoric and propaganda from both the US and North Korean sides have always been heated, but the key to solving the differences between the two countries will be through patience and diplomacy, which comes with communication. The DPRK and the Trump Presidency The most realistic hope for a resolution resides in the will of US President Donald Trump and his foreign policy advisors. But the Trump team must remain conscious of what the DPRK desires. When President Trump was campaigning for the 2016 election, Kim Jong-un displayed hints of admiration for the realestate mogul. But that feeling soon faded after the DPRK conducted a nuclear test in early September 2016 (Thiessien 2016; UNSC 2016). As President Trump began melding his foreign policy, he made clear that he intended to deal with the DPRK diplomatically. By early January, 2017, Kim Jong-un and President-Elect Trump had exchanged public insults, leading many to believe that a DPRK provocation would be imminent (Manchester 2017). The day before Trump’s inauguration, the US Intelligence Community acknowledged activity in a missile factory outside of Pyongyang, which renewed concerns that Kim Jong-un intended to launch a missile during the inauguration. While such an event never materialized, the DPRK did launch a missile on February 11, as President Trump was meeting with Japanese President Shinzo Abe at his golf club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida (McKirdy 2017). Three days after that meeting in Florida, Kim Jong-un’s exiled half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated with the use of VX nerve agent, a chemical banned by the UN, while waiting to board a flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (Manchester 2017). Immediately after his murder, South Korean and Malaysian authorities accused the DPRK of orchestrating the assassination and began searching for the North Koreans responsible. Kim Jongnam had been outspoken against the regime, and was exiled by his father in 2001. 20
Two women, carrying Vietnamese and Indonesian passports, were arrested based on CCTV footage of the attack on Kim Jong-nam. Both have insisted that they are not North Korean agents (Anonymous 2017). Following Kim’s dramatic assassination, China announced that it would suspend all oil imports from the DPRK, effectively halting purchases of one of the DPRK’s largest export. After an extensive investigation, the US concluded that the DPRK did order the assassination of Kim Jong-nam and has stated its intent to impose even more sanctions (Anonymous 2018). On March 6, 2017, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, with a fifth missile failing to launch. These launchings occurred just before the military drill held jointly by the United States and South Korea, in which Japan had also been invited to join. Eight days later, North Korea tested an improved rocket engine, which demonstrated its intent to improve its ballistic missile program and showed that it was succeeding in that effort (McKirdy 2017). On April 6, the DPRK launched another ballistic missile before another high-level meeting, this time between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping (McKirdy 2017). During the meeting, President Trump ordered a missile strike on Syria in a possible show of force towards the DPRK. Shortly after, President Trump ordered the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) to be dropped on ISIS in Afghanistan. In late April, the US carrier Carl Vinson arrived in the Sea of Japan, which raised alarms about a possible military engagement in Korea. However, President Trump maintained that he would meet with Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances (Manchester 2017). Rockets and Olympic Diplomacy In early May, South Korea elected liberal Moon Jae-in as its new president. Moon won on a promise that he would try to reunify the two Koreas. But the DPRK seemed intent on testing his patience. Just a few days after his inauguration, North Korea launched another missile and the UN responded with more sanctions (McKirdy 2017). On July 4, the DPRK claimed to have tested its first successful ICBM followed by another successful test on July 28. The UN responded with more sanctions, but did not address the DPRK’s increased rocket propulsion capabilities, as demonstrated in the missile tests. It appeared that the new missiles, with increased rocket size and operation, were capable of striking the US mainland. The DPRK could successfully affix a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a missile and thus carry out a nuclear strike on the United States. Towards the end of November, the DPRK launched an even more advanced ICBM, this time stating that it had the capability of reaching US lawmakers in Washington, DC. Following the conclusion of the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea, the DPRK delegation invited South Korea’s President Moon to Pyongyang for a summit. Now President Moon and Supreme Leader Kim are set to meet in April, along 21