August 02, 2017

North Korea and the ‘Blink’ of War

By Patrick M. Cronin

At a time when peace in Asia seems to hang by a thread of hope that untested leaders will exercise restraint, a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) seems a game-changer.

North Korea has indubitably demonstrated an ability to fire a missile capable of reaching U.S. territory. No doubt further work is needed on a reentry vehicle, and perhaps the Hwasong-14 missile might only be able to reach most of America if it carried a lightweight warhead. Nonetheless, North Korea has crossed the threshold of being able to aim nukes at the United States.

Will a 33-year-old dynastic dictator, whose regime one analyst said should not be trusted with so much as butter knives, be emboldened by his newfound ability to hold U.S. cities hostage with nuclear weapons? Or, might President Donald Trump pull the trigger on military action because he is frustrated by the actions of North Korea and the inaction of China?

Read the full article in War on the Rocks.

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