- Nuclear Weapons
Why We're Speaking Up on North Korea
Hopes for diplomacy have grown, but the risks of war with North Korea remain all too real.
As a Quaker lobby in the United States, FCNL believes that war is not the answer. On this experts and military leaders agree: war with North Korea would be catastrophic for the United States, its allies, and the people of the region. War could cost millions of lives and inflict untold damage. War with North Korea would almost certainly involve chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons use.
Only diplomacy and peacebuilding offer a path to a more secure future. Sanctions, missile defenses, military threats, and pressure on other countries by themselves will not stop further North Korean nuclear and missile advances or prevent catastrophic misunderstandings and miscalculations. The United States must use diplomacy and direct engagement at all levels of government to reduce tensions and prevent a devastating war.
Choosing diplomacy does not legitimize or reward a belligerent and inhumane regime. Choosing diplomacy is the smartest way to avoid a strategic disaster for the United States and its allies while building a long-term, sustainable framework for addressing the inhumanity of North Korea’s current regime.
The president must never be allowed to abandon the search for diplomatic solutions by unilaterally choosing the path of war instead. Congress holds the constitutional responsibility to determine whether the country chooses war. Far too many in Congress - both Republicans and Democrats - have remained silent in the face of possible conflict. President Trump and others in Washington, Seoul, Beijing, and Pyongyang may read this silence as congressional consent to a presidential war of choice.
Congress must reassert its constitutional role over any choice as momentous and far-reaching as war against North Korea. Congress must not abandon its duty to consider the implications for those who would fight, suffer, and die in any war of choice. Congress must ensure that the views and interests of South Korea and Japan are fully considered and protected by insisting that the president may not launch a preventive war without explicit authorization.
In 2018, we must propel congressional action on both sides of the aisle to prevent a catastrophic war.