With South Korean Elections Approaching, North May Behave Badly Again

Kevin Rudd on BBC News

Kevin Rudd on Trump's North Korea Strategy - BBC News

Kevin Rudd discussed Donald Trump's strategy on North Korea with BBC News over the weekend.

Posted by Asia Society Policy Institute on Monday, May 1, 2017

On April 29, 2017, in the wake of another failed North Korean missile test, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd discussed the Trump administration's North Korea strategy with BBC News. 

According to Rudd, "the President's strategy has one objective at this stage—that is to apply maximum pressure on China... in the hope that Beijing can actually bring about, through political pressure, a change in North Korean behavior. "This has not been tried with this level of focus before" by the United States, Rudd said.

Rudd explained that it is too early to know whether the strategy will succeed or not because "there is a divided opinion in Beijing," where many officials "have deep cautions about the great unknowns which flow from putting pressure on Pyongyang." They are concerned about what would happen if Kim Jong-un or the North Korean regime fell. 

Rudd warned that "the next big hurdle in this tense situation on the Korean Peninsula will come with the election of the next President of South Korea" on May 9. "Historically, the North behave badly on such occasions," he pointed out. Rudd suggested that it would be important to send a diplomatic message to the North encouraging Kim Jong-un to forgo additional missile tests after the election and instead pursue a diplomatic engagement with the new South Korea leader. (4 min., 34 sec.)

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