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Thinking the unthinkable: War on the Korean Peninsula

Past Event

Revisiting North Korea's strategic intentions

Revisiting North Korea's strategic intentions
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Revisiting North Korea's strategic intentions

Assessing the costs of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula
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Assessing the costs of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula

The possibility of a U.S. military strike against North Korea to prevent Pyongyang from acquiring the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon has stimulated debates about North Korea’s intentions. Is Kim Jong-un’s primary goal deterrence against U.S. invasion? Or does he have a much more offensive agenda, such as the unification of the Korean Peninsula through the use of force? Analysis of North Korea’s intentions has profound implications for what policy responses are required to thwart the regime’s ambitions and get ahead of its tactical maneuvers designed to reach those goals. Given the range of views, policy analysis and recommendations should take into account all possibilities and scenarios. What remains incontrovertible in any analysis is the disastrous costs of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

On March 13, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings hosted leading U.S. experts to explore the possibility of an offensive-minded North Korea and its policy implications, and assess the humanitarian, economic, political, and logistical costs of a military conflict on the Korean peninsula. Following each session, panelists took questions from the audience.

Agenda

Welcome remarks

Revisiting North Korea's strategic intentions

Abraham Denmark

Director, Asia Program and Senior Fellow, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States - Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Assessing the costs of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula

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