Washington may eventually compromise with Pyongyang

Monday, July 24, 2017

Subject

North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

Significance

North Korea crossed a threshold this month with the successful test of what is believed to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a weapon capable of hitting Alaska. Within the next five years, the country will probably develop and deploy a missile capable of hitting anywhere in the US mainland with a nuclear warhead.

Impacts

  • Washington will expand secondary sanctions on firms and people that deal with North Korea, most of which are Chinese.
  • North Korea's economic growth is likely to continue despite incremental tightening of Chinese sanctions, due to internal market reforms.
  • Even comprehensive Chinese sanctions may not break Pyongyang's resolve; it may prefer famine to disarmament.
  • A collapse of the North Korean regime would pose a physical threat to neighbouring countries.
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