On the Record

Crisis on the Korean Peninsula Demands Thoughtful Approach

As tension between North and South Korea continues to rise following the North’s artillery barrage on Yeonpyeong Island last week, governments around the world have condemned the attack as a dangerous provocation. Punctuating the tension, South Korea’s president declared that its next response will be with “action, not words.” China can play a pivotal role in calming this crisis but has done little so far. Kenneth Lieberthal, senior fellow and director of the John L. Thornton China Center, says while the two countries are not on the brink of war, the situation is very dire and requires a strategic and thoughtful approach to bring about a resolution to the current crisis.

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