Back channel could defuse North Korea crisis

During an appearance at the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta Friday, Ellison addressed the recent exchange of inflammatory rhetoric between Trump and North Korea, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was acting more responsibly than the US president.

Trump dialed up the rhetoric early Friday, tweeting that the US military is "locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

China, because of this view, will only do a few things to try and talk North Korea into coming around to a more reasonable posture. "Then, what will you say?"

"Now, North Korea is smaller than [we are]".

Without question, North Korea is a threat, but drawing a line in the sand and effectively saying, "If you threaten us again, we'll nuke you into the Dark Ages" is as feckless as it is dumb.

The Trump administration has been quietly engaging in the back-channel communication for several months, discussing Americans imprisoned in North Korea - including University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier - as well as the battered current state of relations, the Associated Press reported yesterday.


The United Nations Security Council, with encouragement from the USA, voted unanimously at the beginning of August to impose new sanctions against North Korea in retaliation for the regime's recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

After Trump vowed on Tuesday to treat North Korean threats of hostility with "fire and fury like the world has never seen", the Kim regime announced that it is planning to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a USA territory.

So now, our realtor-in-chief has the people of Guam - including many USA service members and their families - wondering if they're a target while the people of South Korea and Japan and most of the rest of the world fret, wondering if one or both of these insecure men might be insane enough to start a nuclear war.

But hope hasn't gotten me far lately, so I figure we should prepare for the worst.

"Now, what do you want to do, wait for Hawaii to go up in ruins?" he asked. It will look edgy.

Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, where this first appeared.

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