March 09, 2017

The Ultimate Missile Shield: The U.S.-South Korea Alliance?

By Patrick M. Cronin

The flurry of news stories about North Korea’s latest salvo of missile tests gives Kim Jong-un the media coverage he craves and diverts attention from enduring strategic realities. Four extended-range Scud missiles are broadly construed to highlight Pyongyang’s inexorable march toward acquiring a long-range nuclear arsenal that will transform the balance of power in Northeast Asia.

The news is all the more jarring when surrounding powers are embroiled in their own domestic issues: impeached South Korean president Park Geun-hye is being implicated in a corruption scandal involving Samsung; the United States is convulsing over a mystery triggered by Russia’s interference in the American electoral process; and China is completing critical political proceedings enroute to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party later this year.

We need to avoid manufacturing a crisis. Headlines tell us the “shocking” news that North Korea is apparently testing missiles aimed at U.S. and allied targets. Indeed, what did we think they were aiming at?

Read the full article at The National Interest

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