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Available Expert - North Korea tests fifth nuclear device

Friday, September 9, 2016

Queen's University security expert Christian Leuprecht is available to comment on the detonation of a nuclear test device by North Korea early Friday. The test, the fifth conducted by North Korea, was more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the United States in August 1945 and has been widely condemned by the international community.

"Although widely anticipated, North Korea’s nuclear test is disconcerting insofar as it brings the country closer to miniaturizing a warhead to mount on a medium or long-range mission of the sort the North has test-fired in recent weeks," says Dr. Leuprecht. "In the face of repeated international sanctions, this can be interpreted as a show of strength; but it can also be seen as a sign of weakness. The regime ensures its survival by threatening anyone who might interfere in its internal affairs – including China – with these weapons.  China could agree to sanctions on oil imports to North Korea, which would seriously destabilize the regime; but North Korea wants to forestall that, as does China, because the prospect of a destabilized North Korea is worse for China’s strategic interests than the prospect of a nuclear-armed North Korea."

Dr. Christian Leuprecht is a professor of Political Studies at Queen's University, cross-appointed to the Royal Military College of Canada. His research focuses primarily on security and defence, political demography, and comparative federalism and multilevel governance. He is available for interviews before 10 am EDT or after 12:30 pm EDT.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.caat Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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