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The least bad way for Trump to deal with North Korea

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Donald Trump is just the latest U.S. president in a long list of commanders-in-chief who have failed to find a way to deal with North Korea. In the 1960s and 1970s, the central goal was preventing North Korean founder Kim Il Sung from redeploying his army south of the 38th parallel. For the last 25 years, however, the focus of U.S. policymakers has been something even more difficult: the denuclearization of the Kim dynasty.

Pyongyang’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July, its testing of a Hwasong-12 missile over Japan in August, the September 3 test of what Pyongyang claimed was a hydrogen bomb, and Friday's launch of another missile have only accelerated the sense of urgency in Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo about the need for a strong collective response.

The U.S. foreign policy community has many recommendations on the table but few easy answers. A preventive military strike is not plausible given its devastating cost - Brigadier General Rob Givens (retired) estimates that 20,000 people would perish in Seoul in the first day of a conflict. Even though the U.N. Security Council voted Monday to step up sanctions against Pyongyang, economic restrictions have limited impact. Pyongyang is a master of sanctions evasion, devising ever new and effective ways to keep their weapons programs funded.

What may work, however, is a new U.S. approach that learns from its failures - as well as its successes during........

© Japan Today