North Korea is moving closer to its cherished strategic goal: the possession of a functioning nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States. The regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests have gathered pace, creating a momentum which US and regional policy makers are struggling to control. Sanctions have failed to halt the development of the North’s nuclear program. The recent, brazen assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother by an outlawed chemical weapon in Malaysia’s main airport is also widely believed to have been carried out at Pyongyang’s direction, although no North Korean suspects have been brought to justice.
While South Korea has lived with North Korea’s provocative behaviour for decades, how will other neighbours and the Trump administration deal with the looming threat? Is there a US-China “grand bargain” on the cards? Will the United States pursue unilateral counter-measures? Or does the solution lie elsewhere – with the possibility that a new South Korean president will pursue a pro-engagement strategy?
Join Dr Euan Graham, Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute and Korean foreign policy expert, Dr Jiyoung Song for a discussion on the future of North Korea and how it will shape regional security.