Lets put rhetoric aside and discuss why sanctions and further isolation actually helps North Korea, not hurts it.
Since the Ming Dynasty Korea as a whole adopted the Chinese sentiment to end foreign trade and nationalize domestic products. This ideology is known as neo-Confucianism and was popularized in the 14th century.
The division of North and South Korea after WWII was a reaffirmation of this ideology in the North while the South opened up trade to and allied with the West and participated in the global political process. The isolation of the North was ensured and deemed necessary by the North's first leader Kim Il-Sung.
The long running philosophy was turned into the country's new ideology of self-reliance.
Many events reflect deeply on this isolationists principle shared by the people and leaders in the North.
But in the modern age, especially recently we are seeing a relatively small, private nation flaunt nuclear and military capability.
The worlds reaction is mixed, with most world leaders condemning the show of force. And first world nations placing stricter economic sanctions on trade and exports of the North.
The situation is much more complicated then one could imagine at first glance.
Firstly, North Korea boasts two very influential allies, although China has been forced to bear the brunt of condemnation for the trading of essential metals and materials with North Korea. Naturally Russia has stepped in and is working with China with the goal of a descelation of aggression and putting an end to the Nuclear programs of Pyongyang altogether.
Many argue that the North is nearly being used as a proxy to further the historical ideologies of communism stemming from Russian and/or Chinese influence while many argue that South Korea and the United States are emboldening Kim Jong-Un with the military activity in the region and dangerous rhetoric.
The facts remain that North Korea rejects western views and influence in the peninsula.
When a country that exhibits isolationists ideology is sanctioned or condemned for putting it's own interests first, it only contributes to and exacerbates the already fragile situation and puts truth into Kim's rhetoric.
And more often lately it seems like each world leader is following a movie script.
When North Korea threatens to advance it's ICBM technology to mount warheads if military action in the peninsula doesn't come to a stand still. And the U.S. and South Korea double down on activity.
Lo and behold in the same timeline of Iran acquiring nuclear capability for reactor technology and a long time suspected trade partner of North Korean warfare. North Korea swiftly gains the capability of mounting nuclear warheads to ICBM's and it's rhetoric now packs a punch.
The Russian and Chinese leaders are in a hard place, they have been forced to deal with a problem caused by dangerous rhetoric and poorly imposed sanctions that actually hurt China and help the North so clearly.
What, I wonder, would the reaction be if U.S. President Donald Trump invited Kim Jong-Un to the White House?
Or if Russian President Vladimir Putin made a similar offer to host Kim at the Kremlin?
If the scaling down of nuclear activity and demilitarization of the peninsula is really a priority then you cannot allow an isonalationalist to remain out of the world spotlight.
Kim is fully aware that if he were to order a strike of Guam, The South or Japan, or the US for that matter, that there would be undoubted retaliation.
The changes imposed by Kim hit on a tone of change, and if the North is to be taken seriously then playing to the tune of his warmongering rhetoric is exactly what he needs to build nationalism and fanaticism in his country.

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