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Era of ‘Strategic Patience’ with North Korea Ends - What Next?

by Countable | 4.17.17

Friction between the U.S. and North Korea is building by the day. Vice President Mike Pence visited ally South Korea on Monday, walking within a hundred yards of the North’s border soldiers, and announcing that all options are on the table and ‘the era of strategic patience is over."

This standoff is only growing more volatile, reports a New York Times news analysis:

"It pits a new president’s vow never to allow North Korea to put American cities at risk — “It won’t happen!" he said on Twitter on Jan. 2 — against a young, insecure North Korean leader who sees that capability as his only guarantee of survival.”

Trump ordered a battle group of ships and submarines to take position off the Korean Peninsula, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. It carries thousands of sailors and 60 aircraft. This, plus annual joint military exercises with South Korea have drawn wrath from the North’s totalitarian leader, Kim Jong-Un, reports USA Today:

North Korea's Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday warning that "thermo-nuclear war may break out any moment."

The options before President Trump are not simple. An opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun provides a succinct overview:

"There are no good options to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions. China can bring economic pressure to bear on the north, but it also doesn't want to risk a sudden collapse of the Pyongyang government — and the flood of refugees that would pour across its border. We can engage in covert operations to sabotage North Korea's weapons programs, and a recent string of failures in ballistic missile tests, including one this weekend, suggest we may be having some success at it. But that won't stop the programs altogether. And military strikes threaten disaster that would make the Syrian civil war appear a minor problem by comparison. North Korea's forces are heavily dug-in and are capable of inflicting massive damage on South Korea. We cannot contain them with a few air strikes."

Arguments For Military Action

Some experts believe that all other options have been exhausted, and military action is all that is left.

"We’re rapidly and dangerously heading towards the reality that the military option is the only one left when it comes to getting North Korea to denuclearize and not weaponized [intercontinental ballistic missiles]," said retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane, to FOX News.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton added, "North Korea ought to be at the top of the agenda in Mar-a-Lago. How much do you fear a nuclear weapon? That's the question. We have to look at preemptive military action. If China doesn't like that prospect maybe we can start bringing down the regime with other measures, like cutting off the supply of food and fuel to North Korea."

Arguments Against Military Action

The most frequently used argument against military action is a fear of what is next. Would the North Koreans respond to an attack, with a counter attack against South Korea or Japan? And how would the US and its allies respond to that?

As explained in a piece in the Los Angeles Times, "policy analysts warn of a chain of events they fear could escalate into a deadly new Korean War."

Tell your reps what you think of these developments in North Korea using the "Take Action" button.

-- Andrea Seabrook

(Photo Credit: *Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)*

Countable

Written by Countable

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(471)
  • Jeanne
    04/17/2017
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    Antagonizing unstable leaders has always been stupid policy. NOTHING good can come from preemptive bombing. Our aggression is how terrorists are made. Make friends not enemies. It's tough for our leaders, I know, but Republicans claim to be followers of the Prince of Peace. This is where the rubber hits the road, Congress. Prove you aren't hypocrites!

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  • Robert
    04/17/2017
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    "The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does , and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does ; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility while the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to a war ." - Sidney J. Harris

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  • Debm
    04/17/2017
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    Please remind the trump administration that they need congressional approval before he engages north korea

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  • Ann
    04/17/2017
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    We lost the last time there was "armed conflict" in the Korean Peninsula. How many men & women lost their lives for what? A draw? Don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

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  • Rocco
    04/17/2017
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    It is quite apparent that they want war. This is so that the military/industrial complex may thrive. President Eisenhower warned us of this. Now that we no longer have a democracy, the oligarchs must get their due. After all, they bought and paid for the folks in office today.

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  • Aaron
    04/17/2017
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    Don't give this president the authority to conduct a foreign intervention in NK! This man is unhinged and probably clinical, he should be impeached ASAP.

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  • SouthernGal
    04/17/2017
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    Congress, it is now your turn to get this president under control. Only you have the right to authorize military actions. You are allowing him to drag us into multiple world conflicts by doing nothing.

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  • Melynda
    04/17/2017
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    This is horrible. A White House that can't even put together an Easter Egg roll wants to start a massive war in Asia. If our petulant President wants to show his huevos, let him challenge Kim Jong Un to hand-to-hand combat, MMA-style. But don't put innocent lives at risk.

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  • Rachael
    04/17/2017
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    Please do everything in your ability to help deescalate the situation in N Korea. For those of us living on the West Coast and have friends and family living in Hawaii the threat of a nuclear war is very real. Un is mentally unstable, much like our own leader, so it's basically a battle of two children with catastrophic consequences. Our allies are under even more of a threat and we can't be responsible for provoking N Korea to kill countless innocent lives. Keep the pressure on legislators to not authorize any further actions against this unstable country.

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  • Gail
    04/17/2017
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    Bombing without a plan for stage effects is unacceptable. The President has neither patience nor strategies, but runs on impulse and chaos.

    Like (49)
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  • Angela
    04/17/2017
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    F#*k.

    Like (40)
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  • Bob
    04/17/2017
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    Better go the diplomatic route first! We're still fighting in the Middle East - we don't need to start yet another war in Asia. We did that 40 years ago (you remember - the one that Trump ran away from) and that went well. We got a memorial out of it and nothing else! Time and again, we see people who ran away from war when it was their turn turn around and want to send others to make themselves look like a badass - especially when THEIR kids won't be going.

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  • Brett
    04/17/2017
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    STOP WAR PROFITEERING NOW. You are impoverishing us, the American people with your insanity. The military industrial complex deep state is stoking fear with false flags and threatening other nations. We are morally spiritually bankrupt. We see through you!

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  • Judie
    04/17/2017
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    Put on your big boy/girl pants and stand up to this President and stop this nonsense! All he is doing is trying to change the conversation...which should be about him and his band of merry men and Russia!

    Like (19)
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  • One4All4One
    04/17/2017
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    Republicans have always been warmongers in modern times. Look at history. However, Trump promised "America First" and avoiding foreign wars as part of that pledge. Another campaign promise blown off by the Mad Tweeter??? So sad!

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  • Lee
    04/17/2017
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    What should happen next??? Trump should shut the hell up! Hats what need to happen next. There is a reason previous administrations bush, Clinton, bush, Obama, have paid little mind to the "look at me" North Korea regime! Leave it to baby nuts Trump, to be the one to entertain a pissing Match. Grow the F up! Just a little insight for my fellow Americans. Weak men are the only ones who care so much about "appearing" strong! I've serve this country, I've seen the worst of Iraq and Afghanistan, those who don't know the tolls of war and fantasize destruction tend to know nothing about it! I once was a pawn in the military industrial complex as a soldier and as a civilian. However there comes a time of awakening, when you call things for what they truly are.... BS! If Trump is so adamant on going to war and showing how tough he is, he should have done it during the Vietnam War, when he was young and could been the able body that the military desperately needed. He would rather play checkers (he isn't smart enough for chest) with your loved ones lives not his own. I call him a coward, along with the rest of those spineless politicians in Washington D.C. I know that republicans only plan for economic stimulus is this thing called the "Military Industrial Complex" but surely we should demand them to find another way to show why they think they are best fit to run this country, because clearly they have failed for the past 100 days or so

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  • Brett
    04/17/2017
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    let it go... The United States of America should never be the aggressor in any situation! The United States of America should only take action if North Korea attacks us or one of our allies... period!

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  • Amy
    04/17/2017
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    Friction is building between our combative president and North Koreas combative president. Not us. Those two irrational men with trigger fingers on nuclear bombs.

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  • Pamela
    04/17/2017
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    I know - let's impeach 45 before he gets us into WWIII!!! Nothing good can come from antagonizing North Korea.

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  • Jacob
    04/17/2017
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    "The era of strategic patience is over." Kinda what we were worried about when it came to electing a petulant child President. Vice President Pence is obviously trying to curtail Trump's recklessness.

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