What should be done about North Korea?

To all intents and purposes, with the claims being made that North Korea now has nuclear weapons small enough to mount in ICBMs capable of hitting the USA mainland, that they're talking about launching some form of strike on the US island territory of Guam seemingly just for the hell of it, it's clear that the North Korean regime isn't playing by the usual conventions of statecraft of acting rationally according to stimulus and incentivisation from allies and enemies. And similarly, with Donald Trump's runaway mouth and fingers, and other people within his administration who really would see instigating global conflict as a religious obligation in order to bring about the Second Coming, it's clear something needs to be done by somebody in order to mitigate the effects on innocent people of what seems to be inevitable further escalation, and indeed do something to de-escalate the situation before The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists meet in November to decide whether to move the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight - assuming we even make it to November.

But what to do? Is an armed conflict really inevitable, so the least bad option might well be for the USA to strike first to try to limit the escalation? Is an armed conflict still inevitable, so the least bad option might be for the USA to preserve the moral high ground by deferring a strike to a retaliatory one, even though the likely level of overall destruction might be higher? I've always said the least stable form of government is dictatorship, because if the inner circle take out the leader, everybody gets instant promotion. Would the least bad option to be to continue to pursue diplomatic pressure in the hope that other elements within the regime realise the insanity of the current situation and stage a coup?

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Carry on with diplomatic pressure

Reform is possible

simon gray - 2017-08-09 / 12:48:50 - Login or register to respond

Kim Jong-un isn't as mad or as stupid as he's made out to be - he knows there's a line he must not cross otherwise destruction of him and his whole country would follow. He'll bow to pressure in the end.

USA first strike to limit escalation

Conflict is inevitable

simon gray - 2017-08-09 / 12:52:08 - Login or register to respond

Armed conflict is inevitable. The least bad option is for the USA to strike first to try to limit the destruction.

USA reserve the right to retaliatory strike

Promise of retaliation might be sufficient

simon gray - 2017-08-09 / 12:54:33 - Login or register to respond

If the USA makes it crystal clear that any strike from North Korea will be met with so-called Fire and Fury, the threat of overwhelming retaliation alone might be enough to deter North Korea from doing something stupid.

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