North Korea Is Not a Threat to the U.S.

October 17, 2002

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WASHINGTON — Cato Institute Senior Fellow Doug Bandow issued the following statement in reaction to the news of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program:

North Korea’s admission that it has maintained a nuclear weapons program likely reflects its international isolation and weakness in what for it is an increasingly hostile environment. Its unverified claim to have developed “more powerful” weapons may be an attempt to deter the Bush administration’s announced policy of preemption — an unexpected example of blowback. In any case, the North poses no threat to America, the world’s most powerful nation. With Pyongyang continuing to mix conciliation with belligerence, Washington should step back and let those countries with the most at stake, particularly South Korea and Japan, take the lead in developing policy towards North Korea.