North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear program has prompted politicians in Japan and South Korea to push for the deployment of more powerful weapons, in what could lead to a regional arms race. Some of the new capabilities under consideration in Tokyo and Seoul, Washington’s closest Asian allies, are politically contentious. Adopting them would break with decades of precedent and could require delicate diplomatic finessing. Other military options are already being

rolled out or will be soon. In a military policy review published on Tuesday, the Japanese government focused on the threat from North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong-un, has ordered more than a dozen missile tests this year. Some of those missiles have splashed into waters close to Japan. “North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles and its nuclear program are becoming increasingly real and imminent problems for the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, as well as the rest of the world,” the government in Tokyo said in its annual defense white paper.  READ MORE