To Confront North Korea, Talk First and Get Tough Later

North Korea borders China, South Korea and Russia, respectively the world’s second, eleventh and twelfth largest economies, and the nation is a few hundred miles away from Japan, third largest economy. North Korea’s nuclear program and erratic leadership could trigger war and economic crisis. The nation is signaling that its intercontinental ballistic missile program is a priority, explains William J. Perry, former US defense secretary, in an essay for the Washington Post, but not as high as the goals of “preserving the Kim dynasty, gaining international respect and improving their economy.” Stopping the ICBM program requires careful diplomacy. “We lost the opportunity to negotiate with a non-nuclear North Korea when we cut off negotiations in 2001, before it had a nuclear arsenal,” Perry notes. “The most we can reasonably expect today is an agreement that lowers the dangers of that arsenal. The goals would be an agreement with Pyongyang to not export nuclear technology, to conduct no further nuclear testing and to conduct no further ICBM testing.” If diplomacy fails, Perry adds, additional international sanctions could be applied as well as disruption of missile tests. – YaleGlobal

To Confront North Korea, Talk First and Get Tough Later

Diplomacy required: North Korea develops an ICBM program, but bigger priorities are protecting Kim dynasty, gaining international respect and improving economy
William J. Perry
Monday, January 9, 2017

William J. Perry, founder of the William J. Perry Project on the threat of nuclear weapons, was U.S. defense secretary from 1994 to 1997.

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