The risk of a nuclear war is rising because of growing non-nuclear threats to nuclear weapons and their command-and-control systems.
Amid escalating tensions, South Koreans have begun voicing their concerns about a nuclear-armed North Korea-and debating bringing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons back to the Korean peninsula.
Deterring North Korea is less risky than a preventative war.
Policymakers should adopt a more realistic focus on deterring Pyongyang from using its nuclear weapons rather than pursuing low-probability attempts to denuclearize the peninsula in short order.
North Korea’s nuclear arsenal exists to stop other countries’ quest for regime change in Pyongyang.
The risks of a military conflict with North Korea is growing day by day. Not talking has not slowed North Korea’s advance, and sanctions alone will not achieve the desired result.
While there is likely some truth to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s point that sanctions against North Korea would not be effective, nonetheless it is mostly a talking point.
In response to North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear weapons tests, the United States may deploy bombers to show that it takes North Korea’s tests seriously and reassure its allies in the region.
It is necessary to be clear that the United States will retaliate if North Korea provokes an attack on the United States or its allies, but containment and deterrence remain preferable to an unacceptably costly military intervention.
While the Trump administration’s efforts to get tough on Pakistan face challenges and potential dangers, the change in stance signals a new political will to pursue previously untried measures which offer some hope of success.