Managing the North Korea problem

Richard Fontaine at War on the Rocks considers the North Korea problem nuclear missile problem.

Fontaine believes United States should respond to North Korea’s ICBM launch with a series of tough measures based on the actual, prevailing dynamics of power on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. He believes the following should be assumptions.

* China will not solve North Korea. China does not want a unified Korea and getting of North Korea leadership could lead to a costly refugee problem for China.
* South Korea and Japan will not solve North Korea. The military risks are too high for South Korea and Japan
* North Korea will not give up the nuclear problem regardless of what negotiated carrots and sticks are presented.
* Military solutions generally have costs that are too high. North has some nuclear weapons now but they also have lots of bio-chemical weapons.

Recommendations are
* Improve and deploy missile defenses in South Korea, Japan, Hawaii and the western part of the USA. Missile defenses need to be useful against the ten or so weapons that North Korea might deploy. Nextbigfuture notes that this plan has the drawback that China and Pakistan and India would move up from the 80-200 nuclear missile arsenels to 400-1000.
* Economic sanctions could target Chinese entities doing business with North Korea
* Use long term policies that enhance the chances for regime change from the Kim dynasty. Nextbigfuture has recommended vastly increasing the rewards for defectors and rewarding other actions that would move the situation in North Korea in the desired direction