Missile diplomacy: U.S. must be inventive in responding to North Korea

The U.S. needs to be inventive in responding to the North Korean provocation

In early January, Donald Trump, then the U.S. President-elect, tweeted that North Korea would never develop a “nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S.”. But Pyongyang appears to have done exactly that, defying warnings issued by Washington. Tuesday’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, that appears to be capable of striking Alaska, poses perhaps the greatest foreign policy challenge so far before Mr. Trump. And he appears to be lost for an effective response. While senior officials of the Trump administration have consistently talked tough, they have banked heavily on China, North Korea’s most crucial political and economic ally, to rein in its missile programme.Mr. Trump had even offered Chinaa better trade deal for its help in addressing the crisis and appreciated President Xi Jinping’s efforts. But neither the tough posturing nor banking on China’s help seems to have worked, and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme Leader, remains as defiant as ever. Washington’s response to the missile test was typical. The U.S. and South Korea immediately conducted missile exercises to counter “North Korea’s destabilising and unlawful actions”, and the State Department asked for more UN sanctions on the North.

But had sanctions and threats been effective as a strategy, Mr. Kim would not have carried out the ICBM test in the first place. Ever since he took power in 2012 he has steadily expanded North Korea’s missile programme; challenging the U.S. is central to his foreign policy doctrine. All these years the U.S. has stepped up sanctions and taken an incrementally harsher line towards the Kim regime. Mr. Trump has simply followed the Obama administration’s stick-and-sanctions policy towards the North, but with a China emphasis. But he is now back to square one, with very few options. Though the administration has said all options are on the table, even a limited military strike would be dangerously risky. Given the unpredictability of the Kim regime, any attack could be tantamount to a declaration of war on the Korean peninsula. Another option is to continue the tested-and-failed policy of sanctions and international isolation, which would mean more trouble for the North Korean people with an uncertain effect on the roguish regime. It is also unclear whether China will back such isolation. A third option, something that both the Obama and Trump administrations have seemingly overlooked so far, is to hold direct negotiations with Pyongyang. It may appear strange given the current hostility, but that remains the only realistic option before Washington. Mr. Trump has a counterpart in Seoul, Moon Jae-in, who is more inclined to addressing the issue through diplomacy. Besides, there is the history of the North freezing its nuclear programme for nearly a decade in 1994 after a deal with world powers. Mr. Trump should take a realistic view of the crisis rather than immediately opt for retaliatory and punitive measures. Source - THE HINDU


1) Retaliatory (मुंहतोड़) (Adjective):  re-tal-i-a-to-ry
Meaning -  characterized by a desire for revenge ,to respond to an attack in some way
Synonyms -  Vindicatory ,Revengeful
Antonyms -Agreeable , friendly , gentle
Example - In the movie’s sequel, the captured villain will break out of prison and will take retaliatory against the superheroes that put him there.

2)Defiant (उपेक्षापूर्ण)  (Adjective): di-fahy-ent
Meaning -choosing to disobey rules or a person of authority
Synonyms Bold , disobedient ,rebellious
Antonyms - Respectful , submissive , obedient
Example - Because Raman is a defiant teenager, she is often called to the principal’s office.

3)Punitive (दंडात्मक) (adjective): pyoo-ni-tiv
Meaning - done as an act of punishment
Synonyms - Punishing , vengeful , corrective
Antonyms - Nonpunitive , rehabilitative
Example -The university is taking punitive actions against the football player who failed his drug test. 

4) Roguish( शातिर) (adjective): roh-gish
Meaning -  Characteristics of a dishonest or unprincipled person .
Synonyms - Devilish , Unscrupulous, Rascally , mischievous
Antonyms - Honest , courteous , ethical
Example - If someone has a roguish expression or manner, they look as though they are about to behave badly.

5) Tantamount (समान)  (adjective):- tan-tuh-mount
Meaning - equal to something
Synonyms - equivalent , identical , same , alike
Antonyms- Different , contrasting , unequal
Example - Taking money from your mother's purse without asking her first is tantamount to stealing.

6) Defying  (अवहेलना )(Verb) :  de-fy-ing
Meaning -  openly resist or refuse to obey.
Synonyms - Resisting , contradicting ,challenging ,opposing , affronting
Antonyms - Following , obeying , surrendering
Example - Riya was called by principal for defying authority by violating the dress code of the college.

7) Ally (मित्र)(Noun):  Al-e
Meaning - a friend; someone who is ready to help you
Synonyms -  Supporter, associate , partner
Antonyms - Rival, foe , Opponent , antagonist
Example - When my friends were arguing, Mohit was my ally and defended my actions.

8) Rein  (लगाम)  (Noun)  : reyn
Meaning - To control something by applying measures , a long strap attached at one end to a horse's bit to guide and contol the horse.
Synonyms -  control , harness , check , curb , restraint
Antonyms - Free , let go , accelerate 
Example -The main focus of administration's economic policy is to rein in inflation.

9) Doctrine (सिद्धांत) (Noun):   dok-trin
Meaning - a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.
Synonyms - Principle , philosophy , dogma , faith
Antonyms -Disbelief , Ambiguity, Imitation
Example -Before the men can form a new organization, they have to create a guiding doctrine that sets them apart from other groups.

9) Arcane (Adjective)  - रहस्यमयMeaning -  known or knowable only to a few people , mysterious 
Synonyms -  Secret , concealed , occult , hidden
Antonyms -  Common , clear , known , appearent
Example (English) - The restaurant location was so arcane, that we took 2 hours to find it.
Example (Hindi) - रेस्तरां का स्थान इतना रहस्यमय था , कि हम उसे ढूंढने में 2 घंटे लगे।

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension , try to answer the following questions-
  • What is the only realistic option before U.S.A. for this Missile diplomacy according to the author?
  • Which country is North Korea’s most crucial political and economic ally to rein in its missile programme ?
Now it's time to check your vocabulary . We have given below some words from the same article . Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Harsher
  • Hostility
  • Freezing
  • Negotiations 
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