April 12, 2012

The answer to the question [“Duped again,” editorial, April 11] about how the United States should respond to North Korea’s upcoming missile test is relatively simple. First, the United States should acknowledge that the Korean War is not over and that it will persist until the issue of what Korean government shall govern the Korean peninsula is resolved.

With this understanding in mind, the United States should develop and implement a nonviolent strategy to achieve a peacefully unified Korea, ideally in coordination with our South Korean ally and others. This strategy should be developed for implementation by succeeding U.S. administrations, a la U.S. Cold War strategy. Thus, it will differ from relatively narrow nonproliferation policies by the past six U.S. administrations, which failed to stop nuclear weapons development and missile launches — aspects of Pyongyang’s broader strategy to prevail in the ongoing war.

A nonviolent strategy to achieve peaceful Korean unification will take time. There are many issues and no silver bullets. But success will probably take less time than the 59 years that have passed since an armistice agreement stopped large-scale combat on the Korean peninsula.

Paul Chamberlin, Woodbridge

The writer is a former U.S. military attache to South Korea and was an adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 1993 to 2010.