August 08, 2020

Living with a nuclear North Korea: how to move beyond the impasse
Demanding complete denuclearization has long been a diplomatic dead-end

Three months after the breakdown of the Hanoi Summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has tested the waters of acquiescence by conducting two rounds of missile tests. In the past, a new round of United Nations sanctions would have followed such launches, escalating rhetoric and mutual condemnation.  

This had been the pattern, at least until President Trump veered off script by contradicting his National Security Advisor, John Bolton on the issue of whether the missile launches violated existing UN sanctions. During a recent visit to Japan, a presidential tweet dismissed the launches as small weapons that "disturbed some of my people…but not me."