With North Korea perilously close to becoming a nuclear-weapons state and Pyongyang declaring invalid the 1953 armistice agreement with South Korea, the already-fragile security situation in the region is hanging by a thread -- hostilities have commenced on paper, even if no attack is actually undertaken. By now, the Obama administration must realize that the UN Security Council is unlikely to impose measures sufficient to change the thinking in the North, and a potential attack on the Korean Peninsula risks involving 27,000 US troops pledged to come to the aid of the South. It’s time for significant actions by the Obama administration to restore the region to stability and turn North Korea, which cannot open up and survive -- as the Kim regime itself well knows -- away from its current perilous trajectory.
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Rather than prevent Iran’s nuclear breakout, historians may mark the Geneva deal as the step that most legitimized Iran’s path to nuclear weapons capability.
Just like Pyongyang, Damascus negotiates through obfuscation and lies. Perhaps to save time, talks over Syria could be rolled into the North Korean negotiations. That way, Washington’s own missteps can be undertaken more economically.
The North Korean Kim family may be a little bit crazy, but they’re not buffoons. They’re not irrational, just– as the therapeutic community might put it – “differently rational.” The investments they’ve made in a crude nuclear capability have repaid huge dividends.
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe plans to revise Japan’s constitution to allow for more regular military operations and to set up a national security council. Can Abe realize these plans, and what are the potential obstacles to his agenda? How will other regional powers react? A panel of experts will convene at AEI to answer these and other questions.
North Korea has no interest in granting America or its allies a lasting regional peace. Understanding this unwelcome but critical fact is the first step toward a strategy that could make the North Korean problem smaller, not larger, over time.