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A catch-up on news and commentary about North Korea, its rocky relations with its neighbors — and what to do about those nuclear weapons:

  • North Korea tested two short-range missiles over the weekend, a salvo that could mark the start of a fresh cycle of provocations, Jesse Johnson reports. The firings came just days after scaled-down joint exercises by U.S. and South Korean forces wrapped up, although unusually, the North gave no reasons for the latest tests.
  • The U.S. needs to approach North Korea as it is, not as we wish it to be, argues Newsweek columnist Daniel R. DePetris. That means giving up for now on the dream of full denuclearization and instead striving for a deal that would put limitations on Kim Jong Un’s nuclear arsenal in exchange for sanctions relief.
North Korea relations under the Biden administration | TIME
North Korea relations under the Biden administration | TIME
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s ultimate goal is to reconcile with the North. Now, it seems Seoul may consider joining the “Quad” grouping to influence, if not convince, the Biden administration to review its North Korea policy to reflect this aim. That may not work, Kuni Miyake argues, for a few reasons.
  • Each new U.S. administration faces a more limited range of options on North Korea than the last. The Biden team now faces a regime with a measure of legitimacy as a nuclear-armed state with Kim firmly at its center, thanks to the Kim-Trump summits. Ramesh Thakur lays out the approaches Biden could take to tackle the North nuclear issue, and the possible consequences of each.
  • Twenty-seven years after Pyongyang was caught cheating, the world continues to struggle with the North Korean nuclear issue. Brad Glosserman outlines four ways to frame the problem, plus three uncomfortable truths. At the end of the day, that calculus leads to an equally uncomfortable conclusion about North Korea and the fate of its nuclear arsenal.

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