Should the U.S. use military force against North Korea?
via AP

Should the U.S. use military force against North Korea?

Join the conversation and vote below

After the U.N. imposed new sanctions against North Korea, President Trump responded by claiming the sanctions are "nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen." Some foreign policy hawks believe America should use military force against North Korea before Pyongyang is able to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland. But others argue for diplomacy, claiming military intervention would lead to a humanitarian crisis and devastating war. What do you think? 🇰🇵

The Votes Are In!

A week after North Korea carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that would impose stricter sanctions on North Korea. 

The resolution is designed to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a US official familiar with negotiations.

President Trump responded with tough talk, claiming the resolution was "not a big deal" and "nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen." 

Though President Trump complimented the UN over the new sanctions, speaking ahead of a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak he did not know if they will have “any impact” on North Korea’s push to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. 

When asked if the president would consider military action against North Korea, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "all options are on the table."

But many are urging the president to take diplomatic solutions more seriously before considering military action of any kind.

What’s required is discreet exploratory discussions between U.S. and North Korean officials, close to and empowered by Kim and Trump, to test what’s possible: to identify a way to defuse the current cycle of threats and counterthreats; to break the momentum of North Korea’s missile testing program; to preempt or prevent war; and to explore the possibility of some quid pro quo that would freeze Kim’s missile production and nuclear and missile testing in exchange for sanctions relief, adjusting U.S. military exercises with South Korea to make them less threatening to North Korea, or exploring whether more permanent peace arrangements can be reached to foster security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Any military attack would likely "trigger one of the worst mass killings in human history." Around 25,000,000 South Koreans live within artillery range of North Korea. As a deterrence to an invasion, North Korea has thousands of artillery guns pointed at civilian targets, ready to rain destruction at a moment's notice.  

It's estimated around 64,000 people would die on the first day of the bombardment.

But hard-liners are pushing for military force because they believe there is simply no other good option. Once North Korea has the ability to strike the U.S. mainland, the calculus of any intervention or diplomatic effort completely changes. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said:

"One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction," Haley said. She urged China, North Korea's only major ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang.
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