Experts Say

The Contradiction at the Core of Trump's North Korea Strategy


October 19, 2017
By Uri Friedman

In a joint appearance at a security conference on Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster exposed a central tension in the Trump administrationís efforts to counter the North Korean nuclear-weapons program. Both officials stressed that North Korea was rapidly approaching a milestone that might prompt the U.S. military to go to war with Kim Jong Un. But they claimed that their current approach consists of peacefully exerting economic and diplomatic pressure on Kim until he agrees to begin dismantling his nuclear arsenalóthe kind of campaign that typically takes years to succeed, if it succeeds at all. The timing, in other words, doesnít add up.
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