For years, U.S. policy toward North Korea has been going on the premise that economic sanctions could deter North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Host Scott Simon talks with David Kang, professor of international relations and business at the University of Southern California, about the state of the North Korean economy.
Russia is urging the U.S. and North Korea to end an escalating cycle of dangerous provocations after Pyongyang put its missile forces on high alert and American stealth bombers flew practice bomb runs over the Korean Peninsula.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Friday in Moscow, said the tit-for-tat moves were becoming a "vicious cycle" that could "simply get out of control," Reuters reports.
The U.S. military is making no secret about a training flight by a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers from a base in the American Midwest to the Korean Peninsula — what's being described as an "extended deterrence mission."
The flight of the two radar-evading bombers "demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will," the United States Forces Korea said in a press release Thursday.
North Korea cut a hotline with South Korea on on Wednesday and told the United Nations that conditions were ripe for a "simmering nuclear war" on the peninsula.
"Upon authorization of the Foreign Ministry, the DPRK [North Korea] openly informs the U.N. Security Council that the Korean Peninsula now has the conditions for a simmering nuclear war," a statement read. "This is because of [provocative] moves by the U.S. and South Korean puppets."