Reuters reports: In three words of a tweet this week, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump vowed North Korea would never test an intercontinental ballistic missile.
“It won’t happen!” Trump wrote after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday his nuclear-capable country was close to testing an ICBM of a kind that could someday hit the United States.
Preventing such a test is far easier said than done, and Trump gave no indication of how he might roll back North Korea’s weapons programs after he takes office on Jan. 20, something successive U.S. administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have failed to do.
Former U.S. officials and other experts said the United States essentially had two options when it came to trying to curb North Korea’s fast-expanding nuclear and missile programs – negotiate or take military action.
Neither path offers certain success and the military option is fraught with huge dangers, especially for Japan and South Korea, U.S. allies in close proximity to North Korea. [Continue reading…]