The Trump administration has settled on its North Korea strategy after a two-month review: “Maximum pressure and engagement.”
U.S. officials said Friday the president’s advisers weighed a range of ideas for how to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, including military options and trying to overthrow the isolated communist dictatorship’s leadership. At the other end of the spectrum, they looked at the notion of accepting North Korea as a nuclear state.
In the end, however, they settled on a policy that appears to represent continuity.
The administration’s emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China, North Korea’s dominant trade and military partner. The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.
The new strategy will be deployed at a time of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. U.S., South Korean and other officials are closely monitoring the North amid indications it could conduct another missile test or nuclear explosion to coincide with an important national anniversary this weekend.