A fierce debate is raging in China over the best policy for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
While the sixth nuclear test did not cross a Chinese “red line”, there are actions North Korea could take that would do so.
As a nuclear weapon state and an emerging global power, China can and should take steps to respond constructively to the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons and to help mitigate the growing international division.
Washington and Pyongyang will eventually need to resume direct talks. With neither party ready for that yet, at first secret contacts will have to be organized in third countries. In the meantime, de-escalation is the order of the day, and Russia one of its unlikely brokers.
A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world.
North Korea’s motivations for pursuing nuclear capabilities have changed over time, but are rooted in a sense of existential threats coming from outside the regime.
As tensions rise between North Korea and the United States, the European Union has strongly condemned and implemented new sanctions on Pyongyang. Yet Europeans are divided over North Korea’s threats and the United States’ unpredictable responses.
The North Korean nuclear crisis is far from over, and foreclosing escalation pathways is in the best interests of the United States, its allies, and Pyongyang.
Denuclearization of the North will not be possible to achieve, if it is possible to achieve at all, unless there is a transformational change in North Korea’s relationships with the United States and South Korea.
North Korea’s most recent nuclear test calls into question a more active cooperation between China and the United States to increase long-term regional stability. Despite agreeing on the goal of denuclearization on the peninsula, both countries have been unable to reach a real consensus.