Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump is right about China and North Korea

| Aug. 01, 2017

Here’s a contrarian thought: President Trump had the right instinct to insist that China help resolve the nightmare problem of North Korea. A peaceful solution is impossible without help from the other great power in East Asia.

As Trump nears the threshold of a military crisis with North Korea, he needs to sustain this early intuition — and not be driven into actions that may look tough but would leave every player worse off. The template hasn’t really changed from the Korean War in 1950: North Korea’s aggressive actions bring an American response and then a general war that devastates the Korean Peninsula. The conflict ends in stalemate and at huge cost.

Trump in his first months saw the need for a negotiated halt in North Korea’s program. But he has been pushed toward military options by Kim Jong Un’s reckless continuation of his missile testing — despite China’s efforts to restrain the impulsive young leader. War fever is growing, as in Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s (R-S.C.) comment Tuesday that conflict is “inevitable” unless Pyongyang stops testing weapons.

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Ignatius, David.“Trump is right about China and North Korea.” The Washington Post, August 1, 2017.

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