North Korea's growing nuclear arsenal could force US back to negotiating table

Experts say Kim Jong-un’s military ambition more far-reaching than had been assumed and Washington may have no option but to bargain with him

North Korea’s fifth nuclear test confirms growing fears in the international community that the regime’s nuclear aspirations are far more far-reaching than once assumed and that Kim Jong-un is building a sizeable arsenal designed to be used if his rule comes under serious threat.

Until two years ago the conventional wisdom on the North’s nuclear programme was that it was largely a political symbol of the country’s potency and a bargaining chip for economic and diplomatic benefits.

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