Experts Say

‘Military Options’ Against North Korea Isn’t the Problem—Loose Talk Is

October 30, 2017
By Jung H. Pak

The Trump administration’s North Korea policy has been articulated as “maximum pressure and engagement” since the policy review was completed in April, but in recent weeks, senior officials—including the president—have been strongly hinting about “military options.” Even as the senior advisors are trying to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric from President Trump, emphasizing that U.S. policy does not include regime change and reiterating Washington’s commitment to peaceful resolution, the drumbeat of military action has been drowning out the “engagement” part of the formula. While it is absolutely appropriate to consider military options, loose talk of war could take on a dangerous life and momentum of its own.
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