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And Now the Hard Part

How to Manage North Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is surrounded by soldiers of the Korean People's Army as he inspects the test launch of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in a photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on 
Feb. 13, 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is surrounded by soldiers of the Korean People's Army as he inspects the test launch of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in a photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 13, 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is surrounded by soldiers of the Korean People's Army as he inspects the test launch of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in a photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 13, 2017. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

For decades, the United States has been trying to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, using both engagement and sanctions at different times (and sometimes at the same time). President Donald Trump’s approach has been to alternate between threats and insults and embracing and flattering North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. None of it has worked. Analysts now predict that by next year North Korea could have as many as 100 nuclear bombs.

This week on And Now the Hard Part, we trace the roots of the problem and talk about how to fix it.

“North Korea’s … a disruptive entity in East Asia, where we have most of the world’s economic growth. And we have leading that country a 35-year-old who is paranoid, power-obsessed, and has nuclear weapons,” said Jung H. Pak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former CIA analyst.

Listen to the episode on this page or subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts.

About And Now the Hard Part:  The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.  See All Episodes

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More And Now the Hard Part episodes:

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

How to Repair Venezuela’s Shattered Economy

Brookings scholar Dany Bahar on how the crisis unfolded and what to do about it.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

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To learn more about creating a podcast with us, contact Andrew Sollinger at andrew.sollinger@foreignpolicy.com.

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