Daily Video

August 3, 2017

North Korea continues to conduct major missile tests


  • President Donald Trump and Japanese President Shinzo Abe spoke by phone on Monday to discuss the growing global threat caused by North Korea. North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday that experts said could reach the western half of the United States, if not the whole country, with a flatter trajectory. This was North Korea’s second major missile test in the month of July.
  • The successful launch doesn’t mean that the missile could be equipped with a nuclear warhead and still be able to reach the United States. It would be subject to enormous mechanical stresses and very high and low temperatures.
  • On Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter: “I am very disappointed in China. They do nothing for us with North Korea. China could easily solve this problem.” Trump later insisted that his administration has it under control, claiming, “We handle everything.”
  • Tougher sanctions on North Korea and possibly a preemptive military strike were called for in this situation, according to Michael Pillsbury of the Hudson Institute.
  • Robert Gallucci of Georgetown University emphasized the importance of exploring opportunities for negotiation before using force.

  1. Essential question: How should diplomacy be handled with countries that might threaten American interests?
  2. What are possible pros and cons of enforcing tougher sanctions vs. exploring negotiation opportunities first?
  3. What are some reasons North Korea might be motivated to build a nuclear arsenal?

Key Terms:

intercontinental ballistic missile: a guided projectile designed for nuclear weapons delivery capable of traveling thousands of miles

preemptive: intended to forestall something, especially to prevent attack by disabling the enemy

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