March 12th, 2013
04:54 PM ET

North Korea raising the decibel on threats

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

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(CNN) - Ever since its surprise nuclear test last month, rhetoric from North Korea has grown increasingly bellicose. But as North Korea threatens nuclear strikes, the United Nations has called for a resumption of the six-party talks, a return to diplomacy.

Scott Snyder has studied this issue for the Council on Foreign Relations:

[1:11] "This is just about the tenth anniversary of the establishment of six party talks. It's probably a good time to stop and take stock of where we are."

Ten years, three nuclear tests and some big diplomatic developments, but if and when the talks resume, the situation will be different than their earlier efforts. First, North Korea has a new leader in Kim Jong Un. Snyder says the change at the top raises some questions:

[3:30] "The main question of debate among North Korea analysts is whether or not North Korea places improvement of relations with the United States as a central objective of it's foreign policy."

Also, Snyder says China, long a key ally of North Korea, is going through changes too:

[3:46] "There is an active debate in China about whether or not its own security commitment to North Korea would be honored and under what circumstances it would be honored."

As for the six party talks, Snyder says there's a precedent for diplomatic breakthroughs even following the bluster from North Korea.

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