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Old 04-23-2018, 09:03 AM
Ravenman is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 27,641
Setting aside any snark: my suspicion here is that North Korea went on a crash program to test missiles like mad over the last couple years, along with an occasional nuclear test, in order to obtain what could be considered the lowest level of credible nuclear deterrent. Yes, they havenít tested a full up system under realistic conditions. But it seems they probably have the building blocks for a nuclear deterrent, even if they havenít all been integrated.

I think it was simply a matter of time before North Korea tried to use this as a bargaining chip in some kind of political maneuver. Contrast this to Iran, which was engaging in a whole lot of enrichment with very little else apparent in terms of weapons development. The North Koreans want the bomb badly, the Iranians have not had that level of commitment (as far as we know).

The issue I keep thinking about is whether North Korea was brought to the table by sanctions. I donít see anything to make me believe that sanctions are threatening the existence of the North Korean state. But nuclear weapons are intended to be a guarantee of the North Korean state (for different reasons). Again, this is very different than Iran, IMHO.

So to the extent that one might imply that diplomatic pressure brought North Korea to the state.... Iím not so sure. Maybe Xi managed to get KJU to commit to something, but Iím inclined to think that North Korea was simply ready to try to cut a deal.

Of course, I cannot see that thereís a basis for a deal here, but that doesnít mean that we ought not follow up on it. Jaw jaw, war war and all that.