How can the US (or any other country for that matter) stop North Korea from inciting a nuclear war?

Cartwright-I really think we only have two options. We either launch pre-emptive strikes to take out their nuclear facilities, their political leadership, their military, and their infrastructure or we completely disengage from North Korea, ignore them, allow the regime to obtain nuclear weapons, and live with the consequences.

Let’s be clear about two things. First, the diplomatic solution is a failure, has been a failure, and will continue to be a failure. Diplomacy under Bill Clinton failed. Diplomacy under George W. Bush failed. Diplomacy under Barack Obama failed. North Korea, with the aid of Russia, Iran, and China, has inched closer and closer to becoming a nuclear armed nation under the last three US administrations.

Second, sanctions don’t work. Despite sanctions against what George W. Bush coined the “Axis of Evil,” both Iran and North Korea have continued their nuclear programmes without any apparent disruption. We know that Saddam Hussein flagrantly violated United Nations sanctions for years with little or no consequences. The goal of forcing changed behavior was not accomplished with sanctions. It took a US invasion to topple his brutal regime.

As far as I’m concerned, talk is cheap. Trying to negotiate with a ruthless dictator is like trying to reason with the inmates at an insane asylum. Kim Jong Un isn’t going to willingly give up his nuclear programme. He’s going to use it to blackmail the United States and possibly the rest of the world. At one of the previous symposiums that I attended, I suggested that Kim Jong Un was going to try to leverage his nuclear programme in negotiations that further enriched him. That was several years ago and nothing has changed since then, so I’m skeptical that he’s capable of any type of serious negotiation at this point.

The United States is, once again, going to have to go it alone on this one. We have sufficient air power and nuclear forces of our own to pre-emptively launch a multitude of surprise attacks on Kim Jong Un’s nuclear facilities, his own palaces and compounds, the military leadership, and key infrastructure such as power plants and communication and transportation assets. Way I see it, he goes to bed one night and we blow him and everything else up in the middle of the night. No boots on the ground. No invasion. Just a massive air strike campaign that cripples the nation. Then, we walk away and let someone else clean up the mess.
Or, we simply walk away from North Korea altogether and tell the United Nations to figure it out. We simply act like Kim Jong Un and his country don’t exist. We don’t bother him, and he doesn’t bother us…but if he does, we wipe out his entire nation.

The world has forgotten the power of nuclear weapons and as a result doesn’t understand why a nation like North Korea should never be allowed access to nuclear weapons. The United States is the only nation to have used a nuclear weapon on another nation. Ask the Japanese about the power of nuclear weapons. We brought the Japanese Empire to its knees and a swift end to World War II in the Pacific theatre when we bombed them. Perhaps it’s time to remind the world of the enormous power and danger of nuclear weapons through a demonstration on North Korea.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-North Korea has done a lot of saber-rattling in the past year or two as they creep closer to developing a fully functional nuclear weapon. Confirmation that the rogue nation has finally achieved a minimal level of nuclear ability heightens concerns and nervousness around the world. Because of North Korea’s fear of invasion from the South, it makes sense they would attempt to fortify their weaponry as much as possible. Any country would if powerful enemy armies such as South Korea and the US had been staring at them across their border for almost seventy years.

Saber rattling is nothing new. It can be a useful tool for diplomatic negotiations. Empires around the world down through history no doubt made a lot of threats and put on shows of force to either warn off their enemies or gain leverage at the negotiation table. The US and the Soviet Union managed to avoid starting World War III despite spending the entire Cold War rattling nuclear sabers at each other.

With a US president who seems to be hot-headed at least and irrational at worst, combined with a purported madman running North Korea, conditions seem to indicate a war is far more likely than it was a year ago. But I don’t think the world is past the point of no return.

North Korea, one of the poorest nations in the world, is justifiably scared for its future. They’ve been starved, ignored, demeaned, and sanctioned for decades and might think this is a grand strategy by South Korea and the US to render them defenseless. Even with China standing guard nearby, it’s conceivable the South Korean army might be tempted to storm the border one dark night and reunite the country by force. North Korea might decide they’d rather go down swinging if they know they’re going to lose one way or the other, which would motivate them to strike first with or without nuclear weapons.

The US holds most of the cards and is the only nation that can prevent a nuclear war. The worst solution is to preemptively bomb North Korea. The North Korean response would probably be to fire a nuke at South Korea, which would get both the South Koreans and Chinese into the fight. Japan is an easy target for the communist powers, so they’d suffer too. With China in the fight, a nuclear duel between the US and them would become highly likely. And then you have World War III.

The only rational solution is for the US to suppress its macho super-military ego and truly become a nation of peace by lifting sanctions, opening trade, and sitting down at the negotiation table with North Korea to work out a way to peacefully co-exist. Conservatives, hawks, and a good share of the American people won’t like this apparent show of weakness by “the most powerful nation on Earth,” but it is the only way to avoid nuclear war. Salvaging our national pride at the expense of killing millions of innocent people and laying waste to entire cities or regions is not only not worth it, but it is also crazy and idiotic. Much like the way Nixon went to China in the 1970s and normalized relations, Trump must go to North Korea in the 2010s and do the same.

Myrtle Beach Correspondent-You have to consider here that the leader of North Korea is a psychopath. Diplomatic solutions are always ideal of course. We are dealing with a completely dangerous situation and he’s got his finger on the launch button. He also has no qualms about killing innocent people, obviously, because he does it to his own citizens. All things considered, I would say hit them before they hit us. It’s not ideal. But who really do they have as allies? China… Kind-of. They have condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests. Russia? Maybe, but supposedly Trump has Putin in his pocket. So would we risk World War III? Or would everyone thank us for taking care of the problem?

The simple truth is…if, and I mean IF, Kim Jong Un has the artillery and nuclear weapons he SAYS he has, we are in trouble if he strikes first. We have applied sanctions. We have tried diplomacy. It hasn’t worked. Time to end it before it starts.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-At this point, I’m not sure anything short of appeasement is going to keep Kim Jong Un’s lunatic finger off the nuclear trigger, but as any student of World War II can tell you, appeasement is a slippery slope. The North Korean regime is morally bankrupt, financially bankrupt and looking to blame the Western world for the manifold ills that have befallen its citizenry under the current inbred regime.

In reality, I think the only thing that’s going to stop North Korea from trying out its (as yet) unreliable missiles on Alaska or Van Nuys is a surgical military strike coordinated to take out missile sites and command and control, along with a naval operation to take out the Korean submarines, which by all accounts are older models which are not all that hard to find with modern technology. Yes, the international brouhaha will be loud, especially from Russia and China, but at this point I’m not sure either of them have the political or military will to defend their idiot cousin to the east.

Yes, there is the very great likelihood that a conventional war will break out, and thousands will die in the resulting conflict. However, and I know this sounds harsh, but better thousands at the tip of a bullet than millions at the head of a missile. Just one high-yield nuclear detonation will have global consequences far beyond any conventional conflict.

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Honestly, I’ve never heard so much about Kim Jong Un until Donald Trump was inaugurated. The “dotard” seemingly gave life and an audience to the “rocket man.”

In fact, Mr. Kim has intensified his missile launching efforts since Trump started hurling Herculean taunts at him. From what I’ve seen, if the President of the United States focuses on the affairs of his country and remove his hand from the tweet button, a nuclear war would he less likely to occur. The more Trump talks, the more launches are made by the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

I’m also sensing a bit of insecurity from Kim Jong Un. He knows what’s happening on the world scene and is trying to remove himself from the statistics.

Kim Jong Un wants to dodge the fate that befell Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

I strongly feel that the United States is playing hypocrite. America also has a pile of nuclear weapons, all which are at the mercies of a man who promotes violence in his speech and actions.

Kim Jong Un is only trying to protect his regime, the same way other countries would. Leave Kim Jong Un alone and you won’t have to worry about a nuclear war.

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