Pyongyangs latest missile test has revived calls to deal with Kim Jong-un. But all possible strategies carry huge risks
North Koreas successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could one day carry nuclear warheads to the United States has revived talk of military intervention in the reclusive state.
Pyongyangs nuclear ambitions, once a somewhat abstract strategic concern for bureaucrats in Washington, have suddenly become more pressing. The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said earlier this year that all options are on the table for blocking its nuclear weapons programme.
Talk of a surgical strike often surfaces when politicians are contemplating military intervention in conflicts or troubled areas around the globe, perhaps because it carries connotations of a focused, efficient attack, with minimal collateral damage, like a clean surgical incision. That is a distracting illusion.