Posted by 20 July 2017
North Korea – a key part of President George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” – recently completed a successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. That is grave news for anyone concerned about what would happen if North Korea obtains a nuclear weapon that could deliver a nuclear blast as far away as Alaska). However, there is no consensus among United States, South Korea, China, and other nations about what can be done in response.
U.S. conflict with North Korea dates back to the 1950s, when North Korea invaded South Korea. The U.S. joined forces with the United Nations in military action to repel the invasion. In more recent times, American foreign policy towards North Korea has been aimed at preventing it from obtaining nuclear weapons. President Clinton tried traditional diplomatic engagement, while Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama supported sanctions.
Regardless of U.S. policy, however, North Korea’s leaders continue the nation’s unique path on the world stage. North Korea is a highly isolated country ruled by the communist dictator Kim Jong-un, who replaced his father, Kim Il-Sung.
North Korea has consistently reneged on arms control agreements aimed at stopping its nuclear program, and it has made steady progress towards obtaining nuclear weapons technology and developing missiles capable of carrying these weapons.
Like his predecessors, Donald Trump has few good options for dealing with this rogue state. He has suggested that China should do more to handle North Korea because China is one of the few nations that has a relationship with the nation. But Chinese officials push back strongly against suggestions that they could do more to corral Kim.
What do you think the U.S. should do with North Korea? Do favor more diplomatic talks with the country? Should the U.S. undertake military action? Should President Trump and Chinese leaders work more closely together to see what can be done?