North Korea on the Brink

North Korea’s (DPRK) five-day outburst of nuclear and ballistic missile testing offers further evidence of its ability to threaten the stability of the Korean Peninsula and the security of U.S. friends and allies in East Asia. In just one week in late May, Pyongyang conducted one nuclear and six ballistic missile tests, defying the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 prohibiting nuclear and missile testing. The situation grows more worrisome as the provocations show little sign of abating. Preparations for a Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test are underway, possibly aimed toward Hawaii and the DPRK also warned of “thousand
fold” military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if “provoked.” The ominous warnings emanating from Pyongyang followed President Barack Obama’s call for a global and regional “strategic alliance” to contain the “grave threat” posed by North Korea’s ambitions.

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