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The Trump administration often talks about North Korea policy as if it's an on-off switch.The seeming binary options are weirdly reminiscent of the nuclear standoff of the Cold War, when the only choices seemed to be a conflict with massive loss of life – or surrender to the adversary's demands.To be prudent, U.S. officials and their allies should assume it won't work.U.S. officials need, first, to decide how serious a threat North Korea truly poses to America. If major cities are at risk, and Kim Jong Un's erratic behavior can't be deterred, then perhaps the U.S. should indeed be planning to denuclearize North Korea by force.Suppose, instead, that the U.S. and its allies decide that North Korea isn't worth the risks of either military or covert action.Finally, are there defensive measures that can sharply reduce the North Korean threat? Similar creative thinking is badly needed now on North Korea.
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