The pandemic forced Kim Jong Un into retreat. The world should brace for his resurgence

Open Nuclear Network Director, Laura Rockwood, was interviewed in a CNN feature focused on Kim Jong Un’s ascent to power, leadership style, nuclear strategy, and how COVID may affect the future of the DPRK and Korean Peninsula.

“ It's expected North Korea will continue to work on plans laid out by Kim this January, including developing tactical nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, a solid-fueled ICBM, a nuclear-powered submarine and underwater-launch nuclear strategic weapons.

And there are signs the country is ramping up its nuclear program while talks with the US remain stalled. Activity appears to have resumed at a reactor at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, which appeared to have been shut down since December 2018, according to reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and others.

‘Historically, the development of the DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programs have accelerated during periods when the country was not bound by any agreement with -- or involving -- the US to constrain the country's WMD programs,’ says Laura Rockwood, director of Open Nuclear Network, and former section head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making at the IAEA.”