Tensions are very clearly escalating on the Korean Peninsula, with the North making unrelenting progress on their nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and the United States president now overtly threatening a new war.

In the meantime, the United Nations Security Council, which of course includes China, the United States and Russia, passed a new round of sanctions on North Korea intended to force Pyongyang back to the negotiating table — but as of yet it is unclear if these new sanction will succeed in that regard.

So what are the policy options right now?

And if North Korea does succeed in developing the capacity to reliably hit the United States with a nuclear weapon can it even be deterred from doing so? Would traditional ideas of nuclear deterrence be applicable to the North Korea situation? Is a first strike by the United States, as threatened by President Trump, even plausible?  What would result? And most importantly, what diplomatic paths are still open right now to prevent further escalation?

On the line to discuss these questions and more is Dr. Jim Walsh of MIT. He is a nuclear security expert who has studied North Korea’s nuclear programs for years–even traveling to Pyongyang for meetings with officials there.

He discusses the current situation, the diplomatic options still available, and why deterrence might be the least bad option we face.

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn how North Korea can be stopped, short of unleashing a massive war on the Korean Peninsula, have a listen.

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