Allies Should Confront Imminent North Korean Nuclear Threat

U.S. policy toward North Korea has been complacent, based on a benign assessment of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities. Because most experts assess that North Korea still requires several more years before being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile, policymakers believe they can continue to timidly pursue incremental sanctions and prepare defenses. But North Korea likely already has nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach Japan and U.S. bases there and a preliminary ability to reach the United States, although not with a warhead. With Pyongyang vowing never to abandon its nuclear weapons, Washington and its allies should immediately begin to augment their missile defenses.

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