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International relations

Refusal to engage with North Korea risks nuclear terrorism

Rogue state's threats are designed to increase leverage with U.S. and China

| China
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts after doing a test-fire of new cruise rocket in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on May 30.   © Reuters

Moon Jae-in, the newly elected president of South Korea, takes over at a time when the geopolitical risks surrounding the Korean Peninsula have never been higher. U.S. President Donald Trump has set off a chain of events by suggesting the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. Undeterred, North Korea's young ruler Kim Jong Un has regularly tested missiles over the past month, albeit with mixed results.

This saber-rattling by Kim bears a markedly dangerous tone due to North Korea's potential development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the unpredictability of Trump, who has not been shy of making threats of his own. Moon is a proponent of the "Sunshine Policy," which espouses embracing North Korea via dialog and diplomacy, a strategy which won the Nobel peace prize for South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in 2000.

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