There is no doubt that the United States and the international community should be concerned about the latest nuclear test by the unpredictable and unstable regime in North Korea—the fourth in the last decade—even if the Hermit Kingdom tested ‘only’ a conventional atomic weapon and not a hydrogen bomb as it claims. In addition, as Secretary of State John Kerry noted, China needs to change the way in which it handles its North Korean ally because the current policy of continuing to export oil to North Korea permits the regime to live with the economic sanctions the international community has already placed on it.
However, the United States must also recognize that its own policies have played a role in enabling the North Koreans to conduct four nuclear tests over the last decade. Specifically, there are three examples of U.S. policies that have undermined our credibility on the issue of nuclear proliferation.
The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest.
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