Yikes. Not exactly "I believe it is peace for our time".
The NY Times coverage includes this crystallization of the conventional wisdom regarding the motivation of the reigning NoKo thugs:
But classified assessments of the North that the Obama administration left for its successors included a grim assessment by the intelligence community: that North Korea’s leader, Mr. Kim, believes his nuclear weapons program is the only way to guarantee the survival of his regime and will never trade it away for economic or other benefits.
The assessment said that the example of what happened to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, had played a critical role in North Korean thinking. Colonel Qaddafi gave up the components of Libya’s nuclear program in late 2003 — most of them were still in crates from Pakistan — in hopes of economic integration with the West. Eight years later, when the Arab Spring broke out, the United States and its European allies joined forces to depose Colonel Qaddafi, who was eventually found hiding in a ditch and executed by Libyan rebels.
Lest you marvel at the capability of the NSA, one clue as to the NoKo thinking came from their own media. Here is the BBC from last September:
Might Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi explain Kim Jong-un's determination to get his own nuclear arsenal?
The lynching of the Libyan leader after he had renounced nuclear weapons and the hanging of the Iraqi president have been cited by the North Korean media as the rationale for their own country's determination not to be put off by sanctions despite the poverty there.
As it is sometimes put: Gaddafi gave up the bomb and lost his head. Saddam was toppled because he did not have it.
After Pyongyang's last nuclear test in January, a commentary in North Korea's media said: "History proves that powerful nuclear deterrence serves as the strongest treasured sword for frustrating outsiders' aggression."
It continued: "The Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the Gaddafi regime in Libya could not escape the fate of destruction after being deprived of their foundations for nuclear development and giving up nuclear programmes of their own accord."
Pretty subtle, but we managed to crack the code. Of course, inscrutable hints were dropped even back in 2011:
SEOUL, South Korea — A North Korean statement that Libya’s dismantling of its nuclear weapons program had made it vulnerable to military intervention by the West is being seen by analysts as an ominous reinforcement of the North’s refusal to end its own nuclear program.
North Korea’s official news agency carried comments this week from a Foreign Ministry official criticizing the air assault on Libyan government forces and suggesting that Libya had been duped in 2003 when it abandoned its nuclear program in exchange for promises of aid and improved relations with the West.
Calling the West’s bargain with Libya “an invasion tactic to disarm the country,” the official said it amounted to a bait and switch approach. “The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson,” the official was quoted as saying Tuesday, proclaiming that North Korea’s “songun” ideology of a powerful military was “proper in a thousand ways” and the only guarantor of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Odd that the failing NY Times forgot to blame Bush when they forgot to mention Hillary's Libya debacle.