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Preventing North Korea's nuclear breakout

Author: Robert Litwak; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Wilson Center, 2017.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
Summary:
North Korea is on the verge of a strategic breakout that directly threatens the U.S. homeland. The United States now faces its third nuclear crisis with North Korea in 25 years. Basically, to prevent a North Korean nuclear breakout, the Trump administration has two options: a preventive military strike on North Korea's nuclear and missile infrastructure to destroy its capability to threaten the United States; or a  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Robert Litwak; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
ISBN: 9781938027642 1938027647
OCLC Number: 973227123
Notes: "February 2017."
Description: 1 online resource (viii, 111 pages) : color photographs
Contents: Executive summary. --
Introduction. --
U.S. policy evolution. --
The North Korean domestic context. --
Nuclear capabilities and intentions. --
The case for coercive engagement. --
Endnotes.
Responsibility: Robert S. Litwak.

Abstract:

North Korea is on the verge of a strategic breakout that directly threatens the U.S. homeland. The United States now faces its third nuclear crisis with North Korea in 25 years. Basically, to prevent a North Korean nuclear breakout, the Trump administration has two options: a preventive military strike on North Korea's nuclear and missile infrastructure to destroy its capability to threaten the United States; or a revitalized diplomatic track to deny North Korea a breakout capability by negotiating a freeze of its nuclear and missile programs. In rejecting the use of military power, this study argues for a pivot to serious diplomacy through a strategy of coercive engagement. A new conjunction of factors creates an opportunity to achieve a freeze agreement—one that, in the near term, optimizes the interests among all the major parties. Such an interim agreement would forestall a North Korean nuclear breakout and reaffirm the goal of long-term denuclearization (the urgent U.S. interest), while preventing the collapse of the North Korean regime and the loss of a buffer state (the Chinese interest) and leaving the Kim family regime in power with a minimum nuclear deterrent (the paramount North Korean interest). This analytical option should be put to the political test through revitalized diplomacy.

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