Over the past year and a half the DPRK has launched an unprecedented number of missiles, which the US has tried to deter by expanding preexisting sanctions against Pyongyang.
On Wednesday, a key expert on the issues of the peninsula told US senators that Washington should now threaten the DPRK with preemptive strikes.
One of the ideas there, and it's a risky one, is declaratory policy; to say that we reserve the right to actually take down a missile if it's headed over Japan, or if it's headed towards Hawaii, or the West Coast of the United States.
And that could be a mid course intercept or it could be on the launch pad.
Victor Cha, Center for Strategic & International Studies
As the US and South Korea have boosted military cooperation and weapons deployment, the DPRK has been developing its advanced capabilities including testing ballistic, cruise, hypersonic and submarine launched missiles. Activists say the threat of preemptive attack will not deter Pyongyang.
The US threat of a preemptive strike against North Korea does not dissuade North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, but rather paradoxically, this has been a factor that further encourages North Korea's nuclear development.
Oh Mi-Jeong, Peaceone.org
Activists suggest that suspending sanctions and negotiating with North Korea is the only way to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.
While the US seems intent on restraining the DPRK's missile development by any means, it pursues a different policy towards South Korea.
In May 2021, the US agreed to lift all missile restrictions on South Korea, opening the way for Seoul to potentially produce its own long range ICBMs.
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