Sep 19, 2017

Keeping the military option open

From our Expert Voices conversation on war with North Korea.

All military options with North Korea carry risks. But we must remember that North Korea has exploited U.S. and Korean concerns about war. The proper approach is a phrased response:

  1. Pressure and warning: U.S., South Korea, and other partners like Japan should conduct joint maritime exercises around the Korean Peninsula. Those measures could hint to Pyongyang of a coming blockade or physical isolation.
  2. Enhanced preparedness: The U.S. and South Korea should prepare a response of massive retaliation β€” including nuclear arms β€” should North Korea use weapons of mass destruction. The plan could be publicized through joint exercises to deliver the message that a military response to North Korean aggression would not be mere rhetoric.
  3. Preemptive strike: If the nuclear threat remains a clear and urgent danger despite phased efforts, the U.S. should take preemptive action. There is no perfect military solution for dealing with North Korea in one quick action, but we can never allow the impression that a military strike is off the table.

Bottom line: U.S.-South Korea alliance should continuously send the message to North Korea that they are prepared in both will and capability to act militarily.

Read the other experts:

Go deeper

Axios Dashboard

Keep up with breaking news throughout the day β€” sign up for our alerts.

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.