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Thinking about a Korean war

What’s happening in Northeast Asia? Last week, the war drums were beating, the swords were rattling, the pundits were opining. Things have settled down, but the question remains: What are we to do with a North Korea that periodically raises tensions?

First, we should relax. As events proved, war with North Korea is unlikely. The reason for this is that for all the talk of Kim Jong Un’s irrationality, he and his inner circle have one rational objective: to survive. Were the North Korean regime to launch a war, its leadership would cease to exist.

The United States possesses three sets of tools for dealing with Pyongyang: military options; economic sanctions; and the political means that the United States used against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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