There is no magic solution to the North Korea Problem. But military action should be a last resort, reserved for preempting a direct and imminent threat that doesn’t presently exist. Washington must avoid triggering the Second Korean War.
The way Washington won agreement from some nuclear-capable powers to abstain from going nuclear is to provide a “nuclear umbrella,” that is, promise to use nukes to defend them if necessary. As a result, the price of nonproliferation in East Asia is America’s willingness to risk Los Angeles to protect Seoul and Tokyo, and maybe Taipei and Canberra too. Trump was right, the U.S. ought to discuss whether those commitments are still in our interest.