2016 年 1 月 6 日北韓進行第四次核試爆至 2017 年 9 月 3 日進行第六次核試爆，是北韓史上最密集發展核武及遠端投射能力的時期，這使美朝關係因此陷入年金正恩掌權以來最危險的時刻，雙方開戰傳言不斷。本文回顧這段期間的美朝戰略互動，發現雙方關係較貼近「螺旋模式」而非「嚇阻理論」假設。據此，若美朝對彼此「認知(perception)」無法調整，則雙方將因自我的不安全感無法解除，使對峙局面持續。而美朝關係能否走向緩解，關鍵不在美朝無止盡地提升對彼此的嚇阻手段強度，而在於美朝間能持續遵守對對方的善意承諾。
From January 6, 2016 to September 3, 2017, North Korea has executed three times of nuclear weapon testing, marking the highest frequency of testing in its history. As a result, this tension later built up the worst time of U.S.-North Korea relations after Kim Jong-un ruled the country. Because of this tension, there are a large number of reports that predict the U.S. will fight North Korea at any time. This research reviews the strategic interactions between U.S. and North Korea during that period, and then argues that the situation between these two countries is more similar to the hypothesis of spiral model than deterrence theory. Hence, the U.S. and North Korea will keep indulging in “security dilemma,” which will cause prolonged hostility between these two countries if both sides maintain the original “misperception.” The key to solve the deadlock does not depend on whether or not North Korea or the U.S would continue to engage in deterrence behavior against each other, but rather how much both sides are willing to abide by their mutual promise.
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