Podcast: Does North Korea’s Latest Missile Test Bring Us Closer to War?

North Korean State photo of test launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 15, 2017

I spoke with Julia Hartley-Brewer of London’s talkRADIO on Friday about North Korea’s latest missile test, a second overflight of northern Japan using an intermediate-range ballistic missile that travelled 3,700 km (2,300 miles) before landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Listen to Discussion

Noting Pyongyang’s latest posturing, following new UN sanctions adopted earlier this week, I assessed:

This is a logical response in that they don’t want to show weakness, I don’t think it means a major shift that we’re any closer to military confrontation…. If North Korea launches that first missile, whether it’s conventional or whether it’s nuclear, whether it’s South Korea or Japan or the American Island of Guam they try to hit, that’s regime suicide.

The discussion then considers ways of stepping back from the threats and rhetoric from North Korea and the US to get to diplomacy and negotiations.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Evidently North Korean nuclear weapons development and ICBM tests are pure ‘muscular diplomacy’, in the same vein as continual Yanki missile deployment and pre-emptive invasion exercises.

    When Yankistan is prepared to return to the negotiating table with a commitment to unilaterally and verifiably disarm under a comprehensive North Korean inspections régime, then there is something to discuss. Otherwise, many more nice hot cups of STFU shall be regularly served.

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