At its face, it seems like good news: The first high-level talks between the Koreas in more than two years has brought a thaw in relations and a promise to send North Koreans to next month's Pyeongchang Olympics. But as the Wall Street Journal warns, don't mistake the thaw for a melting. Gerald Seib writes that the situation remains "fraught" and reports the US is weighing whether employing a "bloody nose" strategy—responding to a provocation like another missile test with a targeted military strike that would essentially act as a warning of what could come—is possible. Seib says the debate is a fierce one because the risks are clear: The North could respond by engaging its weapons that sit pointed at Seoul, or perhaps try to use a nuclear weapon. More on the situation:
- Echoing that: In a lengthy piece for the Financial Times, Demetri Sevastopulo treads similar ground, writing that as the North's weapons capabilities grow, the Pentagon is more seriously weighing its options. Seib describes National Security Adviser HR McMaster as getting more vocal about the importance of considering military action, and Sevastopulo advances that, saying that in a private summer briefing, McMaster's discussion of our various options left some participants with the takeaway that the US "was more serious about military action than they had thought." He too reports the "bloody nose" option is being kicked around.