By: Markus Garlauskas

What is the kernel of the issue?

North Korea is almost certainly considering ballistic missile tests this year, including the first launches of several new missiles it unveiled in October 2020 and this month.

Why is the issue important?

If North Korea resumes ballistic missile launches, this would enable it to increase the capability and credibility of its nuclear threats to US forces, allies and cities—undermining regional stability and US national security.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should take a proactive approach to delay, limit or prevent North Korean missile testing by offering incentives—such as limited sanctions relief—if it refrains entirely from launches, and by increasing the credibility of potential punishment for launches—through rebuilding the international consensus to enforce UN resolutions that prohibit any ballistic missile launches by North Korea.