U.S. Must Act in Tandem with Allies on Korean Peninsula

Daniel Russel on BBC Radio

The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July, 4 2017.
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July, 4 2017.

On July 6, 2017, ASPI Diplomat-in-Residence and Senior Fellow Daniel Russel spoke on BBC Radio about the United States, China, and Russia’s initial responses to North Korea’s new missile capabilities.

Russel expressed disappointment at Russia and China’s response that all parties exercise restraint, calling it “a failure to identify the cause of the instability in Northeast Asia,” which he defined as “North Korea’s headlong pursuit of a nuclear armed missile capability.” However, according to Russel, China and the United States are in agreement on two key aspects. China believes that “North Korea should not and must not have nuclear weapons,” and that Kim Jong-un “is an irresponsible leader who is threatening their interests as well as ours,” Russel said. 

Regarding the U.S. response, Russel argues the key is “to act in tandem” with allies South Korea and Japan, as well as with China and Russia. “When we are tightly synchronized,” Russel adds, “the North Koreans have very little room to maneuver.” While no American president would stand by idly while North Korea continues its nuclear advancements targeting the United States, ultimately the hope is to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear program “through diplomacy, through peaceful means.” (4 min., 46 sec.)

Listen to the full interview here starting at 1:10:40.
 

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