Despite widespread international condemnation of North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, strategic distrust and misperceptions continue to impede deeper cooperation between the United States and China on the nuclear issue. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Evans Revere, senior director at Albright Stonebridge Group and former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to discuss the recent North Korean ICBM test and how the United States and China can respond to enhance regional security.
Revere said that over the 48 years he has worked with the Chinese on North Korea, they have never been willing to do as much as U.S. administrations would like. Beijing continues to prioritize stability over denuclearization and its version of a worst-case scenario is a collapse of the regime that could bring instability to its border and bring about the loss of its strategic buffer between U.S. forces on the Peninsula. Revere argued that President Trump should continue to pressure China and proceed with his policy of “maximum pressure,” but provide an exit ramp for Pyongyang to return to negotiations. Officials from the United States and China should also sit down with South Korean and Japanese counterparts to discuss a path to a non-nuclear, peaceably reunified Korean peninsula.
Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy based at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Evans Revere is the senior director with the Albright Stonebridge Group and former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.