Experts caution that intransigence could lead down a dangerous path
WASHINGTON－Washington"s relations with Pyongyang are expected to be US President Donald Trump"s greatest foreign policy challenge in 2018, as tensions continue to simmer between the two nations, US experts said.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at a high point not seen in several years, as Trump wants Pyongyang to halt development of nuclear weapons that could hit the United States, while the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea believes that having nuclear weapons is the only way to defend itself from the US.
"The president has raised the stakes by staking out a clear position on no nuclear weapons for North Korea and severe limits on missile testing. This year could very well be the time that, unless there is a diplomatic breakthrough, he takes decisive action on these goals," said Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank the Brookings Institute.
"That could involve targeted military strikes or a full-scale embargo on North Korea. Either way, it will be a dramatic time with lots of consequences for many countries around the world," West said, referring to 2018.
Trump has repeatedly said that military options remain on the table, and it remains unknown which course of action he will take.
"Each course has major risks, but Trump appears to have concluded that maintaining the status quo is not an acceptable alternative. He has indicated he is open to many different options, including military strikes on the DPRK"s launch capabilities. He seems very serious about resolving this issue this year," West said.
Meanwhile, in his New Year speech, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un sent a conciliatory message to the Republic of Korea, saying that his country was willing to participate in the Winter Olympics being hosted by the ROK.custom livestrong bracelets party wristbands custom wrist sweatbands design your own wristband custom wristbands