Project on Defense Alternatives: A look at North Korean situation

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Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:27 pm

In December Charles Knight and Lyle Goldstein traveled in northeastern China, then overland to Vladivostok, Russia and finally Seoul, South Korea. A principal purpose of this trip was to bring back to the US regional perspectives on the North Korean nuclear crisis — collected from nearly thirty hours of discussion with nineteen international relations specialists from six universities, the U.S. Consul General in Shenyang (in the Manchurian region of China bordering North Korea) and a brigadier general from the Republic of Korea (ROK).

In this advisory we provide a summary of findings from the trip and a commentary based on those findings.

We will be pleased to make ourselves available for interviews.

1. We found near unanimous agreement that the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) has achieved the status of a nuclear-armed state. It is unclear how secure or effective that deterrent is. It seems likely, that under the presently intense diplomatic and military pressure led by the US, the North Koreans will not feel confident about their deterrent until they can credibly put at risk a number of continental US cities. Nonetheless, Chinese and Russian analysts generally believe that the US is effectively deterred from employing the military counter-proliferation option, notwithstanding what President Trump’s National Security Adviser and other officials have at times claimed.

2. None of its immediate neighbors are pleased that North Korea is a nuclear state, but they believe this is the reality they must now live with. Both China and Russia see themselves adjusting to this reality. They think US leaders are in a state of unproductive and dangerous denial. Several times we were offered an analogy to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons: a politically unstable country with nuclear weapons, but “a situation we have been dealing with for years.”

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Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:50 am

If that is their position they should prepare for a nuclear South then and more than likely Japan. And duplicate those expectations in ME when Iran does as well.
If the world including past US governments have no interest limiting the spread in the least desirable countries expect them to spread region by region.
US should do best heavily in ballistic defence if do able and begin full bore on a whole new gen of nuclear weapons and faster more responsive delivery systems up to and including space. Why not no one else is going to limit their advances and we have to ask ourselves this. If we have the capability and means to do these things to defend our nation why wouldn't we maintain this advantage or if need be regain it? What nation or person would let another gain significant martial advantage over them if it looked like the town was hell bent in letting it happen and there was no real sheriff in town to maintain order.

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