John Feffer, of Foreign Policy in Focus, joins Scott to discuss whether the escalating war of words (and missile tests) between North Korea and the United States is just bluster or something more sinister. Feffer explains how China and Russia help mitigate conflict, why the U.S. would be heavily incentivized to use conventional weaponry if war were to break out, and in what circumstances the United States might use nuclear weapons in North Korea. According to Feffer the U.S. has three unpalatable options: ignore North Korea, go to war, or negotiate. Scott wonders how North Korea would respond to a truly non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy and Feffer explains how the Bush administration jettisoned a working deal with North Korea that had paused their nuclear proliferation and how Obama’s negligent attitude toward North Korea killed momentum toward non-proliferation.
Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands. His latest article for FPIF.org is “Honoring Otto Warmbier.” Follow Feffer on Twitter @JohnFeffer.
Discussed on the show:
- Trump tweets red line for North Korea
- “North Korea successfully tests missile that experts say could hit Alaska” (Business Insider)
- Stumbling backward into war
- Moon Jae-in
- Transcript: Defense Secretary James Mattis on “Face the Nation,” May 28, 2017
- “Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy” (Arms Control Association)
- Siegried S. Hecker
- Six-party talks
- “How U.S. Used a Bank to Punish North Korea” (Wall Street Journal)
- Christopher Hill
- “Leap Day in North Korea” (Foreign Policy)