On Thursday, June 22nd Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record roundtable dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program to discuss the growing North Korea crisis. The discussion focused on the current state of legislative activity seeking to address the crisis, and potential opportunities for collaboration on new approaches.
2017 has seen the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) test 24 individual ballistic missiles, including short range, medium range, and submarine launched varieties. This is a continuation of the pattern of aggressive missile testing commenced by Kim Jong-un in 2012. DPRK has conducted 6 nuclear test detonations since 2006; the most recent test (held in September 2017) demonstrated a yield of over 140 kilotons, and is generally agreed to confirm DPRK’s development of thermonuclear capabilities. Current projections indicate that US military assets in Guam, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are within striking distance of DPRK’s missiles, as well as Tokyo and Seoul – which together contain some 23 million citizens. In the months following this event, North Korea has performed several successful missile tests which place American cities from Los Angeles to Chicago within reach of their nuclear weapons.