Carnegie’s Douglas Paal spoke with the Australian Broadcasting Company about Kim Jong-un’s New Year address. Paal argued that Kim’s speech should not make the United States more nervous, as there still remains much to be done besides testing the first prototype before North Korea could actually strike any targets in the United States. However, he warned that it would be a mistake to underestimate the progress North Korea has made and that Pyongyang clearly has the capability to combine ballistic missiles and nuclear devices now. Paal also pointed out that the desire of the progressive South Korean government to reduce tensions between the North and the South may have the potential of putting the United States and South Korea on separate pages when dealing with North Korea. Paal then said that the latest round of UN Security Council sanctions will still take time to have an impact on North Korea and that some of the sanctions, such as embargoing of seafood, may actually be a relief for the country. He argued that the sanctions would not necessarily solve the problem, but only start to set the table for discussing the problem.
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