July 11, 2020

Why the United States should suspend joint military exercises with South Korea
Thursday's missile test underlines the urgent need for greater trust-building

North Korea on July 16 warned that it could resume testing inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) if the United States and South Korea proceeded with planned joint military exercises. Ignoring the North’s warning risks throwing away what has in reality been a great deal for America. 

Holding or suspending the exercises only represents a small, temporary gain or loss for Washington and Seoul. By contrast, allowing ICBM tests represents a permanent increase in bargaining power for Pyongyang, insofar as it can then pose a greater threat to U.S. national security.