Key Points

It is imperative that the United States build on today’s sanctions to remind the Kim regime of the risks and costs of its unrelenting desire for nuclear weapons. Although ramping up pressure will likely yield an increase in regional tensions, it is the only way to break the diplomatic deadlock between Washington and Pyongyang without conceding to Kim’s demands.

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I understand why subscribers to The Nation — headlines in the current issue include “Socialism Is on the Agenda” and “The Trump Presidency Is Our Second 9/11” – would disdain Nikki Haley, and hope she doesn’t run for president in four years. But it puzzles me why others – Republicans and moderate Democrats – wouldn’t welcome the marriage of her eloquence and elegance with what one might call a neo-Trumpian commitment to making America economically and militarily greater. Isn’t that a necessary precondition for everything else patriotic Americans want to achieve?

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If Mr. Trump opts to augment the pressure on North Korea, he will need to patiently wait out attempts by Kim to scare the international community into concessions. He shouldn’t be shaken. The United States should instead keep tightening the rope that led South Africa to abandon nuclear weapons.

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Americans should applaud Congress for finally providing U.S. troops with the authorities and funding levels they need to accomplish their missions. If America is to compete effectively with China and Russia, counter Iran and North Korea, and prevent domestic terror attacks, that is the least Congress can do. Perhaps next year it can do so on time.

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In addition to targeting individual North Korean hackers and coordinated groups of hackers that conduct more complex cyber operations – commonly known as Advanced Persistent Threat groups – the U.S. government should continue investigating non-North Korean individuals and entities helping Pyongyang enhance its sanctions evasion and resistance capabilities. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network should also continue subjecting cryptocurrency exchanges to the same anti-money laundering standards to which it holds money service businesses, thereby undercutting the regime’s ability to engage in illicit financial activities in the cryptocurrency space.

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EVENT: Maximum Pressure 2.0: A Plan for North Korea

December 13, 2019 | 12:00

EVENT: Instruments of American Power: Implementing Foreign Policies and Protecting Against Global Threats

October 10, 2019 | 12:00