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Initial Thoughts on the North Korean Missile Test

North Korea gave the world a nasty surprise by announcing a successful missile launch, after stating it was postponed. The move only cements the nation's isolation and could even endanger aid for its impoverished people. Jonathan D. Pollack, a specialist in East Asia politics and security, argues that North Korea did not do itself any favors and describes the international responses: The launch, timed a week before the election in democratic South Korea, may or may not affect the outcome. The US intelligence community may have been caught by surprise and is highly critical, calling for more sanctions. And North Korea defied neighboring China, which had urged the country to cancel the launch. But China, concerned by even graver action by the North, limits its public disapproval. “Another nuclear test, however, would be a qualitatively different affront to China, and would underscore Beijing’s inability to prevent Pyongyang from embarking on exceedingly risky steps,” Pollack writes. The launch was a technological step in North Korea’s militarization, but didn’t impress world powers. – YaleGlobal

Initial Thoughts on the North Korean Missile Test

Surprise launch and odd timing by North Korea on missile launch irritates international community, even China – cementing the country's isolation
Jonathan D. Pollack
The Brookings Institution, 14 December 2012
Click here for the article in The Brookings Institution.

Jonathan D. Pollack is a senior fellow in foreign policy and acting director of the John L. Thornton China Center. A specialist on East Asian international politics and security, he has published extensively on Chinese political-military strategy, U.S.-China relations, the political and security dynamics of the Korean Peninsula, and U.S. strategy and policy in Asia and the Pacific. His latest publication, No Exit:  North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security, was published in May 2011 by Routledge for the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Source:The Brookings Institution
Rights:© 2012 The Brookings Institution