North Korea is a weak and isolated country, but it recently rebuffed demands by the United States, Russia, Japan, China, and South Korea to return to the Six Party Talks on eliminating its nuclear weapons program. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, says Pyongyang might participate in these negotiations “when conditions are suitable.”
What’s going on? It is one thing for North Korea to supply nuclear weapons to rogue states or terrorist groups; it’s another for it to say “no” to the most powerful nations on earth. The time has come for these five countries to act together to contain the immediate North Korean threat and address other threats that are emerging in Northeast Asia.
[On President Moon Jae-in's definition of a 'red line' for North Korea] The only way we will know definitively that North Korea actually has a nuclear-armed missile that works is to demonstrate this capability...It would be considered an act of war which others would see as justifying preemption, and retaliation if preemption or missile defense did not work.
[U.S. military capabilities in the Pacific are] very imposing, very impressive [and are intended] to deter the North from any kind of potential actions. But if the North were to act, the U.S...would have to deploy far more to the peninsula and the region as quickly as possible.