As the United States and North Korea trade fresh threats of military force, non-proliferation experts are increasingly concerned about conversation boiling over into a military confrontation that would bring what they believe would be “unmitigated disaster”.
The National spoke to Alexandra Bell, the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation to evaluate the situation. Ms Bell, who until January was the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State, expressed alarm over the harsh language traded between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un and urged a swift return to the negotiating table.
JK: How dangerous is the escalatory rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un?
AB: It’s incredibly dangerous, since either side misinterpreting or misunderstanding provocative statements could have serious consequences. In the past, U.S. leaders have ignored North Korea’s rhetorical bait and worked through proper diplomatic channels. That is no longer the case.