ICBM Test to Reshuffle the Geopolitical Deck in East Asia?
July 6, 2017
There’s been a bit of delusive thinking on the North Korea crisis of late. The Trump administration believes that China can be counted on to ‘play hardball’ with the North; China on believes it can keep on playing the Trump administration indefinitely; and the new administration of Moon Jae-in believes that it can achieve greater security by dusting off the old playbook of positive engagement. For its part, the North is either deceptively rational in maximizing its take at the negotiating table, or the most deluded of all in seeking to trigger an armed, possibly nuclear, conflict with the United States and its allies.
But then there’s an event that threatens to reshuffle the geopolitical deck. Yesterday’s ICBM test illustrates an uncomfortable truth for the United States: the North’s missile program is more advanced than previously thought. By some estimates, it’s already capable of hitting Alaska.