With speculation mounting that North Korea will conduct a sixth nuclear test, the Trump administration has sent blunt signals about possible U.S. military strikes against the rogue nation. In recent interviews, President Donald Trump has spoken of the potential for “a major, major conflict” and said, “We’ll see,” when asked about potential military action. The Pentagon last week dispatched B-1 Stealth bombers to fly near the North Korean border in a clear signal that military options are under development if diplomacy fails.
The conventional wisdom on North Korea — and the reason Trump and his policymakers jump so quickly to saber-rattling — is that the dictatorship is all but immune to normal diplomatic pressures, too isolated and extreme to yield to our usual tools of persuasion. But, in fact, the United States still has plenty of leverage to drive North Korea to the negotiating table through a well-tested tool: sanctions. Despite the common assumption that North Korea is already subject to crippling international sanctions, U.S. and international sanctions actually leave vast parts of the North Korean economy untouched. This isn’t just about China; the United States and Europe can ratchet up the pressure on the North Korean regime with the ultimate goal of reining in one of today’s greatest national security challenges.
Read the full article at Politico.