Alabama expert weighs in on rising North Korean tension - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Ala. expert weighs in on rising North Korean tension

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Once again, the world is dealing with increased rhetoric from North Korea, but does leader Kim Jong-Un really want to launch an attack? One Montgomery-based expert on Korean Affairs doesn't think so.

"I'm fairly confident that in the end what North Korea is driven by is its own continued existence, the regime's existence," said Jacques Fuqua, assistant provost for international affairs at Auburn University at Montgomery.  "And to openly attack South Korea, Japan or U.S. bases would ensure its own destruction."

Fuqua says Kim Jong-Un, who is still relatively early in his tenure as leader, is trying to assert himself.

"He has to establish himself with the military, and with the North Korean Workers Party to ensure he is able to work himself into power as his father and grandfather did," Fuqua said.

And like his father and grandfather, get concessions from other world leaders and food aid for one of the world's poorest countries.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions said the U.S. may be getting weary of North Korea's act.

"My conversations with top defense department people reveal they're tired of this," Sen. Sessions said.  "They know this cycle cannot continue. If we reward a nation it should be for good behavior, not bad behavior."

Both Sen. Sessions and Fuqua agree the unknown is Kim Jong-Un, how will he react to the efforts to contain the crisis.

'They've pretty much have run the chess board in terms of viable moves that they have," Fuqua said. "And so I think the next few weeks will be crucial."

Fuqua says the South Korean economy, which has strong ties to the River Region, should not be impacted as long as the situation remained contained.

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