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North Korea's threat grows as containment fails

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A long-range missile is fired from North Korea's Sohae launch site on Feb. 7. (Korean Central News Agency/Reuters)   © Reuters

TOKYO   After carrying out a nuclear test just last month, North Korea once again defied the international community by conducting what many think was a missile test on Feb. 7. The nation's continued arms development could create a hole in the U.S. nuclear umbrella protecting Northeast Asia and undermine the region's stability.

     Pyongyang is not likely to abandon its nuclear program even with continued sanctions, said a former official in charge of security strategy under U.S. President Barack Obama. Aiming for a gradual regime change could be the only option to contain the North Korean threat, the official said.

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