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Our Expert Voices conversation on North Korea

We should take every reasonable measure to proactively minimize the risk of a nuclear conflict in Korea.

  • In diplomacy, we should forsake the goal of North Korean denuclearization in favor of probing North Korea's interest in negotiating an arms control arrangement (which would tacitly permit them to retain at least some nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future).
  • On sanctions, the current strategy of seeking Chinese pressure on North Korea is unhelpful; either China will not impose excessively tough restrictions on North Korea, or they will and it could cause North Korea to precipitate a crisis as a way to alleviate them. We should maintain sanctions for the purpose of censure, not coercion.
  • On defense, the United States should avoid actions that might inadvertently trigger North Korean nuclear use. Actions prone to miscalculation include: preventive attacks on North Korean nuclear facilities or critical infrastructure; deployments of U.S. nuclear-capable bombers to South Korea; and large-scale troop movements flowing from around the region into South Korea. North Korea could conclude from any of these moves that we seek to imminently decapitate the regime or invade, forcing it into a "use or lose" situation with its nuclear weapons.

Bottom line: Increasing the diplomatic, sanctions or military pressure too much too quickly, may bring on the world's first nuclear war.

Other voices:

Go deeper

Several states declare emergency over Colonial Pipeline shutdown

A sign warns consumers on the avaliability of gasoline at a RaceTrac gas station in Smyrna, Georgia, on May 11. The average national price of gasoline has risen to $2.985 a gallon, Bloomberg notes. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Reports of fuel shortages across the U.S. emerged on Tuesday as the national average for gasoline prices soared to its highest level since 2014 amid a key fuel pipeline shut down, per Bloomberg.

What's happening: Operator Colonial Pipeline aims to have service restored by the week's end following last Friday's ransomware attack that shut down some 5,500 miles of pipeline from Texas to New Jersey. The governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency Tuesday due to the shortages.

Reports: More than 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party over Trump

Former President Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Dozens dead as Israel and Hamas intensify aerial bombardments

People gather at the site of a collapsed building in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City on May 11. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

At least 35 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed as fighting between Israel's military and Hamas entered a third day, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.