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What to Do About a North Korean ICBM

13 January 2017

Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry and USKI Senior Fellow Joel Wit speak during a 38 North press briefing held on January 9, 2017.

During his annual New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that the country is in the final stages of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. 38 North hosted a press briefing with former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry on January 9, 2017. In his remarks, Secretary Perry provided insight on US-DPRK relations and possible ways to deal with the growing North Korea threat.

Secretary Perry discussed the DPRK’s three main goals, and misconceptions about the country and its leaders. He also outlined a proposal for future US negotiations with Pyongyang to lessen the danger of their nuclear program. In the event of failed negotiations, Secretary Perry also specified “Plan B” backup measures based on coercion. USKI Senior Fellow Joel Wit moderated a question and answer session with journalists in attendance regarding negotiations with the DPRK, China’s role, and General James Mattis as the proposed Secretary of Defense.

Download the 38 North press briefing transcript “What to Do About a North Korean ICBM,” with Secretary William J. Perry and USKI Senior Fellow Joel S. Wit.

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3 Responses to “What to Do About a North Korean ICBM”

  1. Howard Lee Kilby says:

    I should have read the entire article. Secretary Perry did answer the question on peace with North Korea. I felt a bit foolish after firing off comments without reading the entire article.

    During the Reagan Administration, I recall Ronald and Nancy Reagan had a premiere of the movie “REDS” written and directed by Warren Beatty. That was the first movie I remember about the Russian Revolution on the American screen. Did that movie play a part in President Reagan’s understanding of the USSR? I think it might have.

    Perhaps, we need a great director to take the history of Korea and tell both sides so that the American public can better understand and appreciate the Korean situation. I’m sure it might improve diplomatic relations.

    It is surprising to me that I know so much about China and Japan but so little about Korea.

    Thank you

  2. J_kies says:

    Dr Perry, excellent considerations, however the expectation of ‘shooting down’ a DPRK test needs to be tempered by demonstrated lack of capability. I suggest a somber reading of the current DOTE reporting on the SM3 and GMD should dissuade you from expecting miracles from the ‘gang that can’t shoot straight’. No existing or planned MDA system is claimed or expected to be capable of either boost or early post boost intercept of any ICBM.

    On the other hand; reasonable hope exists for Kim Jong Un to eliminate his own missile program based on fears of sabotage.

  3. Howard Lee Kilby says:

    Just a few words to express my appreciation to 38 North for allowing me to read these interesting reports. I enjoyed the interview with Sec. Perry and haven’t finished it yet, but was surprised that a reporter asked him about peace with North Korea and the Secretary didn’t respond to the question. Why does it seem that few people are interested in peace with North Korea and everyone has an idea for what else to do? Some day in my opinion, there will be peace with North Korea. And on that day, If I’m still here, I’ll think: FINALLY!

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.