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22 Jung H. Pak current assumptions about his ability to absorb increasing external pressure. As I have written elsewhere, we can still test Kim’s willingness to pursue a different course and shift his focus toward moves that advance denuclearization. We can do so through strengthening regional alliances—especially with South Korea and Japan—that are demonstrably in lockstep on the North Korea issue. We can also increase stresses on the North Korean regime by cutting off resources that fund its nuclear weapons program and undermine Kim’s promise to bring prosperity to North Koreans, and ramp up defensive and cyber capabilities to mitigate the threat posed by North Korea against the U.S. and its allies. We should also intensify pressure on the regime through information penetration, raising public awareness of Pyongyang’s human rights violations, and create a credible, alternative vision for a post-Kim era to encourage defections. Kim Jong-un is still learning. Let’s make sure he’s learning the right lessons. about the author Jung H. Pak is a senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at the Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies. She focuses on the national security challenges facing the United States and East Asia, including North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities, the regime’s domestic and foreign policy calculus, internal stability, and inter-Korean ties. She has held senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to her work in national security, Pak taught U.S. history at Hunter College in New York City and studied in South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar. ...


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