America Abroad: Brinkmanship - The US and North Korea

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Never before has the threat of a nuclear missile from North Korea been more pressing.

“Even in a conventional conflict, within the first few days you would have anywhere from 30,000 to 300,000 deaths," said North Korea expert Frank Aum. "Obviously, those numbers go up exponentially when you have a nuclear weapon involved.”

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has sent mixed signals about the potential for detente. President Trump used his November visit to Asia to reinforce a policy of “maximum pressure” against the North Korean government. But he also hinted at the possibility of a diplomatic off-ramp in the dispute over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons development.

North Korea and the United States have offered signals of openness to diplomacy. But how real is that possibility?

Leading experts on North Korea and nuclear proliferation gathered at the United States Institute of Peace for a town hall discussion, moderated by Todd Zwillich, host of The Takeaway.


Frank Aum - Senior expert on North Korea at USIP and former senior advisor on North Korea at the office of the Secretary of Defense

Jean Lee - Global fellow at the Wilson Center and former chief of the Associated Press Pyongyang bureau

Anthony Ruggiero - Senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and former government expert on sanctions and nuclear proliferation

Glyn Ford - Former European Parliament member and author of North Korea on the Brink: Struggle for Survival

Photo: A North Korean propaganda poster depicts a missile headed towards the U.S. (PRI)