Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Terence Roehrig, Professor of National Security Affairs, at the US Naval War College.
“While sanctions are criticized they have been helpful in constraining North Korea’s program. One can only imagine how much further their program might be along the road without sanctions. But there are many who argue that North Korea is not even close to being sanctioned as heavily as Iran had been,” Roehrig said.
He further said that countries like China are not in favor of sanctions against North Korea and want the situation to be resolved through bilateral means although so far the US seems very reluctant to do that.
Another aspect of the situation is that it is highly unlikely that North Korea would want to give up their nuclear weapons now. According to the expert, “It now sees nuclear weapons as central to its security planning. With that said, there is still an important benefit for the US to continue to reach out to North Korea for at least some level of dialogue and contact, not necessarily negotiations to reach some agreement because that is far in the future. But at least some level of dialogue to keep the tension lower,” Roehrig said.
The expert further spoke about the regional situation and how North Korea’s missile development affects countries like South Korea and Japan.
“Nerves are rattled in the region and one indication of that is the discussion within South Korea about either bringing US’s tactical weapons back to the peninsula or South Korea acquiring its own nuclear weapons. I don’t think those things will necessarily happen but its shows how they are concerned in the region,” Roehrig said.
The expert further spoke about the North Korean leader and his policies within his country.
Earlier, North Korean diplomat Choe Myong Nam said that despite any attempts by the US to cut Pyongyang off from the global financial system, the country will pursue the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Choe also condemned the joint military drills between South Korea and the US, which Pyongyang considers a rehearsal for invasion. At the same time, the envoy provided few details on the test launch held last week, only noting that this step was positive for his country.
According to the latest media reports, North Korea held several missile tests near the city of Wonsan. The tests were reportedly unsuccessful.