Aaron SteinThe North Korean Missile Threat and Alliance Reassurance

The DPRK launched a small satellite using its latest SLV, the Kwangmyŏngsŏng. In response, the United States and its regional allies deployed missile defense systems to defend their population from the DPRK threat. One problem: the systems deployed had no hope of shooting down the DPRK rocket. Today’s podcast explores the politics of alliance reassurance and why the US needs a new playbook to deal with DPRK space launches.

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  1. A Complete Stranger (History)

    As usual, a very interesting podcast. I might think of THAAD in a slightly different way: who really really hates THAAD being in South Korea? China. So perhaps THAAD is really intended to push China a bit more to actually doing something about North Korea.

  2. Dan Gilchrist (History)

    I need to listen when I get home…

    …but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with security theatre. When the true threat is actually much less than the perceived threat, anything you can do to reduce that perception, even if ineffective, will actually move people to a more realistic view. Your protection might not work, but if there was no real need for the protection in the first place, then all you could possibly hope to achieve was a change in perception anyway. A spurious defence works just as well as a real one – at least for the people who can’t tell the difference.

    It’s honest dishonesty.