Contrary to widespread belief held through most of the 20 th century, military power does not necessarily remain the most effective way for a state to achieve it national interests. Power can be defined as 'the capacity of a nation to use its tangible and intangible resources in such a way as to affect the behaviour of other nations. National interests are the goals a state desires to survive and prosper. In the past, military power has proven to be a very influential form of power in a nation's quest to achieve their national interests.
However, military power alone is rarely enough for a state to attain these interests. Since the end of WWII, there appears to be more reluctance to use military power due to the significant advances in weaponry such as nuclear and chemical weapons. The fear of nuclear obliteration, among other factors, appears to have reduced nation's willingness to use military power to an extent. Therefore, it can be argued that it is necessary for a state to have more than just military power. Thus, military power can be more effective when used in conjunction with other forms of power such as economic or diplomatic power. In the newly globalised world, economic power has emerged as the most significant form of power as there is such interdependence between nations that having the ability to financially assist others has proven to be extremely influential.
In the case of North Korea, North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons (military power) has been successful to a certain extent as they have been able to negotiate from a position of strength however, it has not been successful to this point in achieving their complete goals. Although military power does give states the ability to negotiate from a position of strength, with it also comes various limitations as military power cannot always be used. In relation to the present events, it could be assumed that North Korea and the US, although prepared to use the threat of nuclear war, would never actually engage in it as the risk is just far too great. With such limitations, it is evident that military power is not the most effective way for a state to achieve its national interests. Despite the North Korean economy being in ruins, they have still managed to build up huge conventional artillery force with 12, 000 pieces dug in within range of Seoul and around 20% of their population in the armed forces. A nation will employ whatever means they have at their disposal in order to achieve their national interests.
In North Korea's case, this is their military power which will later be the basis for diplomacy. Simply, North Korea is using nuclear threats in order to negotiate with the US for economic aid. Although successful to a certain extent, that of gaining talks with the US, North Korea has still not succeeded in achieving its aims. In the end, the more published diplomacy is where the decisions take place. However, this diplomacy is underpinned by military power and the ability a state has to use it.