Andrei Lankov writes: North Korea’s recent nuclear test, accompanied by July’s ICBM launches and Friday’s additional Hwasong-12 test, have confirmed that U.S.-led efforts from the international community have been largely unsuccessful. This, predictably, raises questions about what to do next. More of the same, or something new?
When it comes to the North Korean nuclear issue, the official position of the United States government has not changed much for nearly two decades, and in all probability, it’s not going to change in the foreseeable future.
From the official U.S. point of view, the only acceptable final outcome is the “complete, irreversible and verifiable and denuclearization” of North Korea.
This position is understandable, but it has one very serious shortcoming: it has been unrealistic from the very beginning and became completely unrealistic after the first North Korea nuclear test of 2006. This author, back in 2009 published an article (rather academic, I would admit) under the title “Why the United States will have to accept a nuclear North Korea.”
Back then, such a claim was somewhat of a heresy, but it seems that in the last two or three years, an understanding of the sad and, frankly, quite dangerous reality is beginning to settle in U.S. policy circles. [Continue reading…]