EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Washington’s “bloody nose” strategy against Pyongyang forces South Korean President Moon Jae-in to strike a delicate balance between the American demand to end the North Korean nuclear and missile programs and Pyongyang’s insistence on keeping these programs intact.
There is fresh talk in Washington about a new military strategy for containing Pyongyang. This will reportedly include the intensification of the economic sanctions against North Korean companies and officials linked to the missile and nuclear industry, as well as their extension to foreign entities and individuals assisting Pyongyang to bypass the sanctions. The new element in the discussed strategy is a tactical military strike on North Korea’s strategic sites that will give Pyongyang a “bloody nose” and send an unmistakable message that Washington will not tolerate nuclear threats against its homeland. Will Kim Jong-un get the message, or will he choose to retaliate for the “bloody nose” attack?