Please modify as necessary:
To the editor,
The first step to solving a problem is often to stop making it worse (indeed, the first rule of holes is when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging). This certainly applies to the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea, South Korea and the United States all bear responsibility for the recent increase in tensions in the region. The North conducted a nuclear weapons test explosion, threatened to attack the U.S. (which is nonsense, as its missiles can’t reach the U.S. and even if they could, they likely don’t have miniaturized nuclear warheads to place on the missiles), and appears about to launch another missile flight test. The South and the U.S., which dwarf the North in terms of military, economic and political power, have been conducting massive annual war games, which are explicitly acknowledged as preparation for regime change or collapse in the North. The U.S. flew simulated nuclear bombing runs with B-2 and B-52 bombers, and moved F-22 fighter jets to South Korea.
However, last week the U.S. announced it was backing off its “playbook” of escalating military pressure on North Korea, and for the first time in memory, maybe ever, cancelled an intercontinental missile flight test from California to the Pacific island of Kwajelein in order to make sure North Korea didn’t mistake it for an attack.
These measures of restraint are what we need more of, and then we need direct diplomacy between the United States and North Korea. Putting out the fire with gasoline wasn’t working.