Podcast: What Now with North Korea?

Donald Trump’s talk of a military showdown with North Korea has receded, but concern continues over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests.

As part of a half-hour special on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday morning, John Everard — former UK Ambassador to North Korea — and I spoke about the political and military situation, from North Korea to Washington to Beijing.

We discuss the possibility of an “accidental” military conflict, the character of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the back-channel discussions that could bring negotiations, and China’s position towards both Pyongyang and the US.

The conversation is preceded by a report from Washington by Niall Stanage and followed by a chat with Patricia Lewis of Chatham House about nuclear proliferation.

Listen to Discussion

The bottom line for China is regional stability. Now it sees that regional stability being threatened on the one hand by the North Korean testing, and on the other hand by an unpredictable and arguably unstable US President.

So it will be trying to work with all possible contacts to make sure that this gets to the negotiating table, if not immediately, at least somewhere down the line to contain but not remove the North Korean nuclear program.

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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. Well, the Yanki pirates’ draft resolution to have them intercept & search all N.Korean shipping on the high seas under a UNSC mandate is an absolute non-starter, as it would mean immediate war, so Rabid Haley will receive the double-backhand veto smackdown on Monday from responsible adults Russia and China, and the resulting cranial fracture will release some of that pent-up self-righteous steam out of her ignorant and hypocritical head, which can only be healthy, though she lacks the grace to thank them.

    That will cause another imperialist tantrum registering on the Richter scale, accompanied by a tsunami of crocodile tears, as there is nothing else they dare to do, before the humbled Yanki thugs slump back down and enjoy another nice hot cup of STFU.

  2. Cheap new Yanki weapon deployed — 1st Bannon-class BattleBoozer launched at South China Sea, to slay Dragon with Talk Therapy [for own ego]:

    Amazing eco-friendly technology, it is 100% fuelled by guzzling its own stewed “juice”, pausing only to rinse occasionally with hefty swigs of pure grain alcohol!

    In 100 years people will still be asking, in Mandarin, “Why did the Pindosi losers even bother?

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