1. Update
  2. Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Wars & Militarism

This Week with North Korea

By Chris Letts, August 11, 2017

Tensions with North Korea escalated dramatically this week. President Trump threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea, while North Korea boasted of plans to splash missiles in the waters around Guam, a U.S. territory home to more than 162,000 people.

North Korea

Stop tweeting, start talking

With such dangerous rhetoric on both sides, an accident could quickly spark a disaster.

Call now 

Don't panic. 

But do call your members of Congress right now to prevent war with North Korea. Don't wait.

These cycles of escalation are incredibly dangerous. They increase the chances that anything – miscalculation or mere accident – could spark a catastrophic war between nuclear-armed states. History will not excuse leaders just because they did not intend to actually unleash war. Congress can and must exert its constitutional duty to determine whether and when the country launches a war.

There are no perfect options in this delicate situation, but there are certainly worse ones. The United States' current tactic of threats and taunts is exactly the wrong approach. Only diplomacy and peacebuilding offer a path for something better. 

In addition to the strategic importance of nonviolent action, we see a moral imperative to oppose military action against North Korea. The National Council of Churches in Korea called for "unconditional dialogue" between North and South Korea, writing: "The road to peace is a difficult one, but the harder it gets the more important it is that we keep the principle." And, as Baltimore Yearly Meeting minuted this week: "Consistent with Friends’ historic Peace Testimony, we 'utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever.'" 

War is not the answer. Call your members of Congress today.

What we're reading:

Background Hard Truth on North Korea 

North Korea is an odious regime, offending the vision of equity, justice, and peace that FCNL pursues—but we cannot wish it away. While there are no ideal options, some options are undoubtedly worse than others. Diplomacy and peacebuilding may have their risks, but only they hold a chance of opening a way to a better tomorrow.

Chris Letts

  • Former Digital Communications Manager

Chris Letts managed FCNL's website and email advocacy program. In this capacity, she wrote extensively for FCNL's digital presence and communicates with activists around the country. She led FCNL's 2016 website redesign. Chris is especially focused on leveraging technology make advanced constituent advocacy more accessible. She also wrote This Week in the World, FCNL's weekly news digest.