WASHINGTON — Win Without War Director, Stephen Miles, released the following statement in response to North Korea’s latest missile test:
North Korea’s latest missile test shows that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure and engagement” is not working, especially when only one leg of that stool – the maximum pressure leg – is being used. The simple truth is that the challenges posed by the North Korean nuclear program have no military solution. The only way to lower tensions and resolve this crisis is through diplomacy.
Should there be a war, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Services says that between 30,000 to 300,000 people would die in the first few days of fighting, even without nuclear weapons being introduced. If the conflict goes nuclear, the human suffering would be on an unimaginable scale. And, as the Pentagon itself recently made clear, North Korea’s nuclear program cannot be eliminated by airstrikes, meaning a bloody and costly ground-invasion would be needed.
It is past time to get serious about diplomacy with North Korea. While the President has focused his energies on name calling and bombastic threats, leadership from America’s diplomat-in-chief, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has also been entirely missing. Compounding this failure at the top is the reality that a year after the election, key diplomatic positions
remain unfilled, including the Ambassador to South Korea, the under secretary for arms control and international security, and the assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The current crisis with North Korea is one created by epic failures by the Trump Administration since day one and continuing to this very moment.
We are under no illusion that diplomacy will be quick, easy, or painless. Nonetheless, the current path of tit for tat rhetorical escalation coupled with military shows of force on both sides could lead to a war that will solve nothing yet cost millions of lives while creating unprecedented instability for global peace and security. The American people don’t want war with North Korea; the time for engagement is now.