President Donald Trump highlighted the uncertainty hanging over North Korea’s future in a tweet Tuesday.
North Korea is facing tough sanctions, which are believed to be crippling the country’s economy, and North Korean soldiers are fleeing in record numbers, with some doing so under fire. The rogue state has, nonetheless, successfully tested thermonuclear bombs and powerful rockets able to range the continental U.S.
In a New Year’s address, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un offered to meet with South Korea, a sudden shift after months ignoring the South’s proposals for negotiations. Some observers suspect this sudden shift could be an attempt to reduce pressure on the regime, achieve recognition as a nuclear state, or get the process started for eventual talks with the U.S.
In a warning to the U.S., Kim announced that the button to order a nuclear strike is located on his office desk, and in the final days of last year, North Korean state media vowed to continue to bolster North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Kim called for mass production of nukes and missiles and rapid deployment.
North Korea’s game going forward is unclear, and it’s next course of action is unknown.
Sanctions and “other” pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
The Trump administration has been pursuing a policy of maximum pressure and engagement, but this strategy has not yet stopped North Korea’s nuclear march.
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