The reason for my recent hysteria on Korea is simple: this is a problem that won’t go away by itself. The best we can hope for are a couple more decades of stasis. Korea, though, will remain a fault line vulnerable to whatever shifts of power or world politics occur.
There’s only one reasonable solution to Korea, and that’s the pursuit of a peace treaty. Regardless of initial bargaining conditions demanded by the “crackpot” North, it must become the intent of US policy to pursue a treaty. Especially now that North Korea probably has nuclear weapons, there’s no other reasonable solution to this crisis.
This is why I’m not consoled by deescalation. Sure, I bet there is a cooling of rhetoric. Until Rex Tillerson gets fired. Until 10 years from now when President Chelsea Clinton, or George P. Bush “pivot” back to Asia to contain China.
Trump calming his rhetoric might actually be bad in this respect, because it means people will move on from this issue. Right now, there are some who might sense the value of a peace treaty and the importance of this concession.
The only way I can perceive being wrong is if we’re lucky enough that the North Korean people somehow independently destabilize that regime and then also survive the aftermath. I suppose waiting and doing nothing could lead to that outcome too, in theory.