North Korea – The photo, captured from North Korea’s Central Television Station (KCTV) on September 16, 2021, shows a short-range ballistic missile launched from a train. North Korea announced on Thursday the launch of ballistic missiles from a train for the first time, as part of its plans to strengthen its “war deterrent,” a day after the two Koreas tested missiles hours apart in a duel of military might. (Reuters – Latin America News Agency).
Congressional Support Needed for North Korea Policy Success

Any successful North Korea policy must include cooperation from Congress. Although President Joe Biden seems open to a negotiated solution to the growing North Korean nuclear threat, he has offered little information on how he plans to work with the deeply fractured U.S. legislative branch to support his policy. Without congressional backing, Biden is unlikely to take the decisive action needed to get the North Koreans interested in returning to talks, such as declaring a formal end to the 1950–53 Korean War and offering Pyongyang security guarantees in exchange for verifiable steps toward reducing its nuclear weapons.

In short, congressional buy-in is central to the administration’s ability to execute an effective North Korea strategy, one that puts concrete offers on the table rather than waiting for Pyongyang to take the highly unlikely first step of giving up all of its nuclear weapons.

Biden’s North Korea Policy

Biden came into office committed to making diplomacy the centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy. No single issue will test that resolve more than North Korea, which experts estimate possesses between 40–50 nuclear weapons.

Two months after Biden was elected president, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to develop even more advanced nuclear capabilities as a deterrence against its “biggest enemy,” the United States. Yet, North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons as a security guarantee has long posed a wide range of challenges for the United States, its allies, and the region.

Read the full article in Arms Control Today.

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