North Korea is threatening to fire off a test missile, John Kerry is in South Korea using both carrot and stick to get Pyongyang to simmer down, talk of a nuclear strike is in the air, and the international media can't get enough of the story. What next? "Everyone needs to calm down," writes visiting Stanford fellow Peter Jones in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "If the North wants to shoot a missile into the sea, let it." They've fired off such test shots before, and the world didn't end. Assuming the missile doesn't threaten land, it's "not worth trying to head off by cravenly crawling to Pyongyang with offers of more assistance—that would only beget another crisis somewhere down the line."
When the test is over, however, it is time to send the message that the usual "provocation-reward-provocation" model will no longer work—especially now that we know Kim Jong Un is no wunderkind reformer. It starts with China. Beijing has long let the North get away with its antics because it keeps the West off guard, but the international community must let China know that "enough is enough." It can either rein in the North once and for all or watch as the US and its allies in the region increase their military presence "in ways China won't like." Click for the full column. (China already may be getting fed up with the North.)