The next US president's N. Korea dilemma

North Korean soldiers celebrate the country's successful test of a nuclear warhead on September 9, 2016 in Kim Il Sung Square in PyongyangAmong the many challenges facing the next occupant of the White House, few will be more pressing, or more complex, than that posed by North Korea’s seemingly inexorable drive to nuclear statehood. As adamant as Washington is about never accepting the North as a nuclear weapons state, the ground reality is of a country rapidly closing in on its strategic goal of possessing a direct and credible nuclear strike threat against the US mainland. “Every single day that goes by, North Korea becomes a more and more acute threat,” US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in Seoul last week.

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