Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Aidan Foster-Carter, Leeds University
In an ominous new milestone, on 4 and 28 July the DPRK launched what it claimed were intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland. These were more powerful than any previous DPRK missile. On 3 September, Pyongyang further claimed the successful test of a hydrogen bomb.
Unfortunately, the bellicose rhetoric which has long been Pyongyang’s stock in trade was matched by some of the language emanating from Washington. Rather than weigh his every word carefully and diplomatically, Donald Trump appears to say (and tweet) whatever comes into his head. For the United States to match the DPRK’s menaces with threats of its own is no way to solve the North Korean question. Indeed, it potentially puts at risk the very security that US deterrence has helped to maintain on the Peninsula since the 1953 Armistice.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on 10 September 2017 (Photo: KCNA via Reuters).