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North Korea’s missile challenge (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II)

Missile launches by North Korea
On the face of it, the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile by North Korea is yet another reckless provocation by its leader Kim Jong-un. Last year, the Kim regime tested at least a dozen missiles and even vowed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S.

Existing Sanctions
The UN Security Council has already imposed a host of sanctions on the country. But neither sanctions nor warnings issued by other powers have had any impact on North Korea’s behavior.

Options with Donald Trump
As in the case of his predecessors, Donald Trump doesn’t have many options to address the Pyongyang challenge.

• Sanctions are already in place.

• The regime is already isolated.

• War is out of the question as North Korea could directly target America’s allies in East Asia with nuclear weapons.

Possible way out
One less explored and apparently feasible idea is to get China, which still has some leverage over Pyongyang, on board and engage the Kim regime diplomatically, without removing the sanctions.



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