America’s North Korean Nuclear Trilemma

December 12, 2017

by Nicholas D. Anderson



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The United States faces a fundamental trilemma in its North Korea policy: it aims to achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea, maintain its forward-deployed position and the U.S.-ROK alliance, and avoid the costs associated with counterproliferation by force–but the way these objectives interact in practice means the U.S. can only achieve two simultaneously.