Trump’s North Korea Strategy Remains Unclear

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As North Korea’s provocations increase, questions have been raised about whether the Trump Administration’s responses have made matters worse and if there really is a strategy to deal with Pyongyang’s expanding nuclear and missile programs. President Donald Trump has used harsh rhetoric toward North Korea, saying “all options are on the table.”  He told Reuters on Thursday there is the chance of a “major, major conflict with North Korea,” adding that although diplomacy is the preferred option, “it’s very difficult.” 

In a show of force, the USS Carl Vinson carrier group is moving into the region and the THAAD missile defense system is being deployed in South Korea. Since January 2009, the North Koreans have conducted 72 missile tests – the latest one just after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday urged the United Nations to enact new sanctions against the North – and four nuclear tests (five overall), with the world anxiously awaiting a likely sixth.

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