Peter M. Beck
North Korea’s attack on the South yesterday is a sign of internal pressures on the regime in Pyongyang and a warning that America’s current approach isn’t working. Beck considers realistic goals the international community can pursue to maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. He says the problem posed by Pyongyang will only resolve itself permanently once the Kim regime no longer rules. Until then–and despite efforts to destabilize the regime with sanctions, we can’t necessarily assume that day will come soon–the rest of the world needs to adapt to the reality of a North Korean regime in flux and, on yesterday’s evidence, prone to violent outbursts.
Beck is the Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi research fellow at Keio University in Tokyo.