Fletcher in the News

North Korea Out to ‘Test Limits’ with Missiles: Prof. Lee Talks with The Boston Herald

North Korea’s rogue dictator’s brazen missile launch over Japan Monday was an attempt to “test the limits,” according to one local expert, who noted follow-up threats of more tests in “a meaningful prelude to containing Guam” has the Trump administration wrestling with an appropriate response.

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“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” Trump tweeted.

That appeared to be a reference to a previous practice under former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush that saw the U.S. send $1.3 billion in food and fuel assistance to North Korea between 1995 and 2008 in hopes of appeasing the regime, said Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of Korean studies at Tufts University.

Much of that money came after North Korea launched a missile across Japan in 1998, which sent a message that their defiance could be rewarded, said Lee, who added that Trump’s tweet effectively declared that those days are over.

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