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Media commentator on North Korea

Media commentator on North Korea

ATTN: expert NZ-based commentator on North Korea/nuclear ambitions/missile tests and capability/UN sanctions/China and US responses/

Dr Marc Lanteigne, Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University in Auckland

Dr Lanteigne says “the latest missile, which is also an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) reportedly has the capability of hitting the continental United States, the first time a North Korean projectile was proven to have that ability. President Trump had vowed at the beginning of his term that North Korea would not be allowed to test a weapon with that capability, but so far, save for some weapons tests by the US and South Korea, the response from Washington has been (generally) muted. Granted, it is unlikely that North Korea has the ability at present to launch such a missile with a nuclear warhead aboard, but that might be possible within a decade at this rate.”

“The latest round of sanctions are expected to cost the North Korea economy a lot (estimated US$1 billion at least) but it remains to be see whether this will sway the DPRK [North Korea] government into holding off on any further testing. China and North Korea are talking behind the scenes this week, and there is hope that we can at least get a cooling off period so that such discussions can continue. The worry is that the US government continues to frame the issue strictly in terms of military power, and while that's important, it must also be remembered that North Korea is worried about some kind of forced regime change, and see its nuclear option is the only way to prevent that.”

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