June 02, 2020

In Washington, North Korea hawks have the floor
The knives come out on the Beltway after Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test, satellite launch

In February I went to Washington and spent some time talking to American analysts and academics specializing in Northeast Asia. This trip was very similar to my trip in China in January, so perhaps it is best that readers of NK News learn of my general impressions. I hope esteemed readers will understand why I do not go into excessive detail and avoid naming names.

One thing seems to be quite clear: In the decade that I have talked with the NK watchers in Washington, I have never witnessed such a hawkish mood, with such overwhelming support for a hardline policy. This might appear strange: The January nuclear test and February missile launch which triggered such a reaction were by no means the North Korean government’s first such actions. If we count only successful tests, this was the forth nuclear detonation, and the second missile launch.