The international standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has now dragged on for decades, and six-party talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States have been suspended since 2009. Meanwhile, hopes that Pyongyang might curtail its weapons programs due to direct pressure from Beijing have been disappointed so far – already in 2016, the North has conducted its fourth nuclear weapon test and launched a long-range ballistic missile. Against this backdrop, how can nations in the region reinvigorate a diplomatic process toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula – or, failing that, how can they best handle the security challenges posed by a nuclear North?
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