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IN-DEPTH: N. Korea poised for nuclear test amid rising tensions in East Asia Updated: 2022-08-03 16:25:33 KST

It's understood that North Korea is prepared to test a nuclear weapon now at any time.
How would the international community respond?
Tensions are especially high right now in the region the North's ally China enraged by a U.S. congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan.
The new administration in South Korea is taking a different approach to things than its predecessor, and faces some different pressures too.
To find out more where things stand on and around the Korean Peninsula, we are pleased to welcome to the program Dr. Patrick Cronin, Chair of Asia-Pacific Security at the Hudson Institute.

1. Let's start with the news of the day, Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. North Korea has condemned the trip, calling it U.S. interference in another country's affairs. What significance do you see, if any, in North Korea's denunciation, and could you comment on the Speaker's visit there?

2. Speaking of China with respect to the Korean Peninsula, the Yoon administration has adopted a different tone, to be sure, talking of values, and so on. There are calls for South Korea to change its policy on THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system that the previous administration was wary of, and possibly deploy more THAAD units. As things become more tense between China and the U.S., might South Korea boost its anti-missile defense despite the retaliation that might come from Beijing?

3. At the Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York, there was much talk about North Korea's apparently imminent nuclear test. A big question is what the international response would be. There's the idea that little can be done sanctions-wise, since North Korea is already so isolated. What would the international response look like, and what should it look like?

4. It seems to be all but a given that the North is going to test a nuclear weapon. Knowing that the North has this weapon and can test it at any time, practically speaking, what changes in terms of regional security if and when the regime decides to detonate it?

5. South Korea is becoming a major arms exporter. Not only can it arm itself against North Korea, it's now signed a deal to equip Poland with a thousand tanks and close to 700 howitzers. The defense minister will be in Australia, too, this week to coordinate on defense and weapons procurement. What do you see as the significance of South Korea's rise as an arms supplier?
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