July 22, 2017
"North Korea’s July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile has highlighted once again both the extent to which Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and aggressive behavior is destabilizing the Asia Pacific region and the relative impotence of efforts to date designed to respond. Although North Korean nuclear weapons seem primarily designed to ensure regime survival, these weapons will, once fully deliverable, provide Pyongyang with the almost unlimited ability to blackmail its neighbors, primarily China. If China’s leaders do not want to fall victim to North Korean blackmail, they will need to ask themselves hard questions about the costs and benefits of Beijing’s longstanding relationship with Pyongyang and reposition China accordingly.

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