A naval blockade may be the best feasible option to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program, according to a former U.S. Navy officer.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Keeley made the argument in a recent contribution to The Hill, saying there is a history of successful naval blockades that forced the adversary into submission.
"The Trump administration seemingly has only two potential responses, both of them bad," he wrote. "Option one is direct kinetic military action to halt Kim's development of nuclear capabilities. The second is to learn to live with a nuclear-armed despotic regime."
A third option -- a naval blockade in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea -- would stop North Korea from obtaining raw materials and equipment for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"Like sanctions, blockades are designed to slowly choke the recalcitrant nation to submission," he pointed out. "Unlike sanctions, a blockade provides the capability to monitor, intercept and enforce restrictions on what can go in and out of the target nation while providing a powerful psychological and diplomatic instrument."
Such action would require participation from U.S. allies in the region, including Japan and Australia. Other nations, such as Singapore, South Korea, India and Taiwan, as well as NATO forces, could also play a role, Keeley said.
A successful U.S. naval blockade helped stop the Soviet Union from building missile bases in Cuba in 1962. The British Navy also cut off supplies to the First French Empire and ultimately won the Napoleonic Wars, he noted.
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