.. North Korea test-launched on Friday its first ballistic missile potentially capable of hitting America’s East Coast. It thereby proved the failure of 25 years of U.S. nonproliferation policy... If Tehran’s long collusion with Pyongyang on ballistic missiles is even partly mirrored in the nuclear field, the Iranian threat is nearly as imminent as North Korea’s... Proliferators happily exploit America’s weakness and its short attention span. They exploit negotiations to gain the most precious asset: time to resolve the complex scientific and technological hurdles to making deliverable nuclear weapons... the only durable diplomatic solution is to persuade China that reunifying the two Koreas is in its national interest as well as America’s, thus ending the nuclear threat by ending the bizarre North Korean regime... Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has it right. “What’s unimaginable to me,” he said last month at the Aspen Security Forum, “is allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver.” So what are the military options, knowing that the U.S. must plan for the worst?.. First, Washington could pre-emptively strike at Pyongyang’s known nuclear facilities, ballistic-missile factories and launch sites, and submarine bases... Second, the U.S. could wait until a missile is poised for launch toward America, and then destroy it. This would provide more time but at the cost of increased risk... Third, the U.S. could use airstrikes or special forces to decapitate North Korea’s national command authority, sowing chaos, and then sweep in on the ground from South Korea to seize Pyongyang, nuclear assets, key military sites and other territory... All these scenarios pose dangers for South Korea, especially civilians in Seoul, which is within the range of North Korean artillery near the Demilitarized Zone. Any military attack must therefore neutralize as much of the North’s retaliatory capability as possible together with the larger strike.
.. Stopping North Korea and Iran may be the last chance to act before nuclear weapons become a global commonplace.