North Korea is unlikely to abandon its nuclear weapons because the regime views the bombs and their missile delivery systems as critical to its survival, according Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.
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We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival. Our assessment is bolstered by our observations of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearisation.
While we assess that sanctions on exports have been effective and largely maintained, North Korea seeks to mitigate the effects of the US led pressure campaign through diplomatic engagement, counter pressure against the sanctions regime, and direct sanctions evasion.