DPRK's new ICBM program wrecked US isolation strategy & potential ties
Washington failed to isolate the DPRK, and Pyongyang is now becoming a major nuclear power.
"We no longer have that luxury," wrote news website19fortyfive, referring to Washington's ability to continually support South Korea military while getting a good night's sleep because the DPRK wouldn't be able to strike back.
For over 30 years, the United States has worked tirelessly to make the Democratic People's Republic of Korea an international pariah state - an integral component of their isolation strategies was the exerted pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its ongoing nuclear weapons program - however, what was more important was getting the country to drop its ballistic missile program. The US has failed in both.
Last week, the military in Seoul reported that DPRK fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile that may have been able to reach the US mainland. Steadily, the DPRK is becoming a major nuclear weapons power with a capable missile delivery system, and in two ways, Pyongyang's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test is a game-changer.
The first way is the fact that Pyongyang was able to develop the ICBM within its record-breaking specifications just comes to show the futility of US attempts at isolating the country. Washington has dug its own grave in developing any sort of positive bilateral relations with the DPRK, which is becoming a world-class nuclear power.
The second is that the DPRK's ICBMs change the deterrence game with Washington, altering the risk-benefit calculation of the US' deterrence commitments to South Korea. The US and its allies would have to think twice about an attack on Pyongyang.
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According to the 19fortyfive, the US' strategy will need to change. In the first place, there will need to be a comprehensive dialogue with the DPRK to normalize diplomatic relations. Normalization must include a peace treaty that would put an end to the constant state of war on the Korean Peninsula. The ordeal must be capped with the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Washington, in addition, should also alter its security relationship with South Korea. South Korea has taken military aid from Washington since the Cold War. A potential war between the north and the south is more than a simple aggression between two rival states, as the scale of such an event would go under the umbrella of a war between the East and West.
Very interestingly, today, South Korea's strategic importance to the US has declined. While the US in previous years felt more than comfortable offering military aid and guarantees to the South Korean army, the premise that plan was built on is that the DPRK would not be able to strike back the US homeland. With the clock ticking and incremental progress that Pyongyang has been making, that situation has changed entirely.
"We no longer have that luxury," wrote the daily.
The military alliance with South Korea, to reduce impending risks, must be eliminated slowly and steadily. That alliance has expired: The US made the alliance in the 1950s when the country suffered from war and poverty; however, today, the country is economically capable of standing on its own: "Seoul’s continuing military dependence on the United States has been a policy choice to save money. It is not even remotely a policy necessity.
"The imminent prospect of North Korea having a nuclear arsenal in the form of warheads on ICBMs requires a drastic, immediate policy transformation."