US Opinion and Commentary

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Can North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions Be Contained?

Posted September 13th, 2016 at 5:30 pm (UTC-4)
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North Korea’s test of a nuclear bomb last week is again testing the resolve of the United States and the rest of the world.
Despite economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations (approved by China and Russia) in for its nuclear test in January, North Korea has doubled down since then, conducting 20 missile tests and last week’s nuclear test. And it says it now has the capability to mount a nuclear bomb on one of those missiles.
President Barack Obama condemned North Korea’s action and dispatched U.S. bombers to fly over South Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone as a show of force. But White House statements military maneuvers and calls for China to exercise its influence on Pyongyang have been tried before, to no avail.
What more can Obama — and his successor — do to stop what so far has been unstoppable?

Why Kim Jong Un Tested a Nuclear Warhead Now

Posted September 9th, 2016 at 10:26 am (UTC-4)
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[F]rom all indications, the Kim regime tested at this time because it realized China would not impose costs for the detonation….At the moment, Beijing is far more upset with Seoul than Pyongyang….With Beijing upset at Seoul, the North Koreans evidently think they can do what they want.

Satellite Imagery Suggests China Is Secretly Punishing North Korea

Posted July 1st, 2016 at 10:30 am (UTC-4)
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Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test, in January, trade over the China-North Korea border dropped dramatically, according to newly released satellite imagery. The revelation has led experts to conclude that Beijing has been quietly punishing Kim by cutting off the flow of funds to his regime.

North Korea Follows Iran’s Lead in the Nuclear-Blackmail Game

Posted January 7th, 2016 at 12:56 pm (UTC-4)
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This might sound crazy, but it’s not. North Korea spent nearly two decades conning other countries into providing free stuff and strengthening its strategic hand in exchange for restraining its nuclear ambitions. To show just how audacious its efforts were, the first country it conned was the Soviet Union, its fellow Stalinist anti-paradise.

North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Test Tests Global Limits

Posted January 6th, 2016 at 4:37 pm (UTC-4)
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North Korea’s boastful announcement that it tested a hydrogen bomb is being met with condemnation, skepticism and concern. The United States, United Nations, NATO, China and Russia all condemned the nuclear test. But the White House is casting doubt on the technological leap Pyongyang claims, saying “the initial analysis is not consistent with … a successful hydrogen bomb test.” A final determination is weeks away as the International Atomic Energy Agency and other intelligence gathering agencies investigate. In the meantime, diplomats are considering another round of economic sanctions North Korea as punishment. And foreign policy experts are weighing in on the possible fallout from this test: that is, whether or not North Korea has gone from fission to fusion.