The Cost of Intervention

Jan 6, 2017 | 09:15 GMT

Handling a Nuclear North Korea: The Cost of Intervention


Editor's Note

This is the final installment of a five-part series that originally ran in May 2016 examining the measures that could be taken to inhibit North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The purpose of this series is not to consider political rhetoric or noninvasive means of coercion, such as sanctions. Rather, we are exploring the military options, however remote, that are open to the United States and its allies, and the expected retaliatory response from Pyongyang.

One thing is clear from examining Pyongyang's approach to retaliation: Any pre-emptive strike against North Korea's nuclear program will come at a hefty price. Though North Korea may not unleash the full power of its conventional and asymmetric capabilities for the purpose of revenge, it is an option that U.S. policymakers will have to deeply consider. Even lesser degrees of retaliation could pose a great threat to South Korea and to U.S. troops stationed there and nearby in places such as in Japan....

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