Following World War II and the first use of an atomic bomb, the U.S. has had increasing difficulties in its attempt to limit the proliferation of such weapons.
One of their most difficult deproliferation endeavors has been the tumultuous relationship with North Korea. The U.S. has few options in addressing this precarious situation.
A complete diplomatic path with a focus on nuclear defense and economic sanctions is the correct route for the disarmament of the current crisis.
Some government officials have suggested an aggressive military track such as a preemptive strike that would disable North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. This option is removed from the table as it would be nearly impossible to destroy every nuclear armament in North Korea. Failure to eliminate just one nuclear bomb or short range missile could mean a deadly retaliation.
Members of the House Armed Services Committee were especially concerned with the possibility of an attack on Seoul with a population of more than 10 million.
On the other hand, a complete push toward further economic sanctions, such as a focus on North Korea’s fishing exports and oil imports, would cripple their already crumbling economy. To put further pressure on the North Korean economy, the U.S. has to have the support of the Chinese government, whose financial institutions have allowed for the storing of North Korean funds.
In addition to suffocating the North Korean economy, the ability to deter 100 percent of North Korea’s missiles would eliminate its motive for having nuclear arms as it would deem them useless. With further sanctions and complete deterrence the U.S. will force North Korean to leave its dangerous path and begin diplomatic talks oriented toward deproliferation.