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Punish or engage? No easy answer to North Korea's nuclear ambitions

Punish or engage? No easy answer to North Korea's nuclear ambitions

North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket Sunday has policymakers in the United States, South Korea and China scrambling to answer to an old, vexing question: What's the most effective strategy for dealing with an isolated state with a growing arsenal of increasingly dangerous weapons?

Since North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, the United States, South Korea and their allies have tried a range of measures to stop Pyongyang from becoming a fully armed nuclear state. They have implemented heavy economic sanctions and held multilateral meetings, the six-party talks. On occasion, South Korea has even tried giving North Korea unconditional aid with the hope...

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