Unpalatable Choices: Facing North Korea’s Nuclear Reality

North Korea has alarmed the international community by detonating another nuclear weapon, its fifth, along with other missile tests. The United States and other nations must develop new military and diplomatic strategies as Pyongyang positions itself as a credible nuclear-armed state, urges author and security analyst Bennett Ramberg. Unfortunately, North Korea cannot be trusted and the regime has violated every nonproliferation commitment it has entered, from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty to the 2012 “leap year agreement” to freeze nuclear and missile tests. North Korea lacks connections with other nations that could help minimize the threat. South Korea, Japan and other nations ponder whether their own pursuit of nuclear and other weapons might deter the Kim regime. One diplomatic strategy might include liaison offices in Washington and Pyongyang even as the international community continues with firm refusals to demands from the North unless there is reciprocation. Ramberg concludes, “Surely the alternative – an isolated, paranoid, insecure, poorly informed nuclear Pyongyang on hair trigger is not good for anyone.” – YaleGlobal