Trumps Limited Options On North Korea

North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday, launching the missile to an altitude of around 2,800 miles (10 times higher than the International Space Station).

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President Trump appears to be utilizing his rapport with Chinese President Xi to convince Beijing to step up efforts to rein in North Korea. Speaking with Xi Wednesday, Trump “emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization,” according to a White House statement.

Given that direct U.S. and U.N. sanctions against North Korea are almost maxed out, there’s not much the president can do to alter the course of Pyongyang’s nuclear program through sanctions alone.

In August, CR’s Daniel Horowitz put forward several strategic initiatives that the administration could embrace as a change of posture. Horowitz explains that the U.S. military strategy can dedicate more resources to the surrounding area, relocate troops, boost sanctions, and take a more aggressive approach in threatening to shoot down Pyongyang’s missile tests.

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