From the Thesis Abstract: "The threat of nuclear war has been a possibility since the first atomic device was invented during World War II. From the end of World War II through the Cold War period, the greatest risk of nuclear proliferation was between the main superpowers at the time, the United States and the Soviet Union. U.S. nuclear deterrence doctrine promised mutually assured destruction (MAD): if the Soviets were to launch a nuclear missile at the United States, the United States would retaliate in such a way to ensure the annihilation of the Soviet Union. The global economic, social, and political environment has changed since the end of the Cold War; however, the threat of atomic warfare still exists with the emergence of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea as a nuclear threat. This thesis explores the question of whether the doctrine developed during the Cold War is still valid: Is the U.S. nuclear strategy sufficient to deter North Korea from attacking the United States and its allies in the East Asian region? In formulating an answer to the question, the author analyzed the motivations, perceptions, and intentions of North Korea's regime from the country's formation to present day. While it is clear that the original Cold War MAD doctrine will not work for North Korea, it is recommended that the right combination of MAD elements, conventional forces, UN sanctions, and negotiations will provide a chance for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to become a reality."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/