Op-Ed: North Korea: Can Deterrence Still Work?

North Korea’s successful simultaneous firing of four of its long-range missile arsenal at the beginning of the annual Allied military exercises in South Korea makes it clear that the Allies are in critical need of decisive action to strengthen deterrence efforts against the North Koreans.

I was on the Joint Staff working in nuclear operations and I remember the moment we realized that our attempt to prevent nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula had failed and the North had produced enough fissile material for several nuclear warheads. That day triggered efforts well beyond the lowest level of deterrence seen in the chart below: the restraint phase. We immediately began planning to ensure our nuclear forces could meet any threat posed by possible North Korean nuclear forces.