By Ankit Panda, The Diplomat: “Designated the KN22 by the U.S. intelligence community, the Hwasong-15 is North Korea’s second-ever liquid-fueled intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM) design to see flight testing. Prior to its November 29 launch, the missile had never been seen publicly. "
By Joseph S. Nye, The Strategist (ASPI): “Although it has not yet demonstrated a re-entry vehicle capable of surviving atmospheric friction, North Korea announced that it has mastered nuclear strike capability and become a full-fledged nuclear state. Like previous U.S. presidents, Donald Trump has said that this state of affairs is intolerable. So now what?
The highest priority of the North Korean regime is survival, and to that end, it has developed a set of interlocking defensive and offensive capabilities that would challenge allied conventional military strategies. In the end, the North Korean regime would be unlikely to survive a campaign waged with the full conventional strength of the United States and South Korea, but it would seek to impose such significant physical costs on South Korea, Japan, and U.S. territories, that Washington and Seoul would hesitate to wage preventive or preemptive war, and might even refrain from an overwhelming response to North Korean aggression. With the anticipated risks to South Korea, Japan, and U.S. interests of any type of preventive or preemptive war, North Korea has shaped the pre-hostilities environment in a way that removes confidence in any reasonable conventional military option to remove the threat it poses, short of a major theater war.
by CDR Michael Nordeen via The Hill
North Korea has tested another missile and initial indications suggest that it has the technical capability of reaching Washington, D.C.
Last Wednesday, North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which flew higher and longer than any previous missile test to date. Today, the US and South Korean militaries held exercises that included strikes on mock North Korean nuclear test sites. US officials said the drills were planned before North Korea’s ICBM test last week.
China’s grand strategy requires much of its military and security forces. President Xi Jinping’s “China dream” of “national rejuvenation” calls for the reunification of the lost Qing imperial territories of Taiwan and Hong Kong, the continued suppression of the imperial holdings of Tibet and Xinjiang, the coercion of countries abutting the seas around China’s coast to make good on expansive maritime claims, the preparation of contingencies on the Korean Peninsula, and preparation for a fight with the United States, should Washington’s strategic position in Asia become untenable for Beijing. Dan Blumenthal lays out how the United States should respond in an op-ed for The Hill. Read here.
China’s President Xi Jinping took major steps to solidify his place as the strongest leader of the People’s Republic of China in a generation at the 19th Party Congress in October. Oriana Skylar Mastro joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ weekly Asia podcast to discuss the implications of the Party Congress and Xi’s plan to lead the People’s Liberation Army through its largest reform ever to become a truly world-class fighting force by 2050. Listen here.
How should the United States respond to North Korea’s ballistic missile test last week? In an AEIdeas blog, Marc A. Thiessen argues that President Donald Trump should take out the test site from which the North Koreans launched the missile toward Japan — just like he struck a military base in Syria last April. Then, President Trump should declare North Korea a ballistic missile “no-fly zone” and a nuclear weapons “no-test zone.” So long as North Korea does not retaliate, Trump should assure Pyongyang that he will take no further military action against the regime. Continue here.
Watch Thiessen discuss his recommendations on Fox News this past week. Watch it here.