Contributed by Ben Wilson
North Korea has tasted yet another missile. The world does not want this to happen. Raising the heat threatens war. The Korean issue needs a lot more calming down and a lot less chest beating.
This will not happen so long as Washington keeps on provoking.
North Korea tested a Hwasong-15 missile on 30 November, after a two month moratorium on tests. Why a new test? The reason is that American military presence in the waters around the Korean Peninsula has been stepped up and Donald Trump and his associates have been shouting more loudly about taking military action. There has been a push to ramp up sanctions against the north Koreans.
This is a deliberate escalation of tensions. It is a dangerous strategy. North Korea will not be beaten into submission by this.
The small country has survived large scale military invasion, threats and sanctions for a very long time and learned that standing up for oneself is the best defence.
There is a cost unfortunately. Under constant threat, the country has not known anything other than being on a permanent war footing, society is always organised around the threat and resources are mobilised for the effort, instead of being devoted to other needs.
Tension can best be eased, by ensuring the best atmosphere to make this possible. A lessening of tension would make the world a safer place.
North Korea needs to feel that it is not facing the prospect on a new invasion, or even that it is being economically squeezed. Although they will never be able to see eye to eye on many issues, the relationship between the two sides needs to be normalised as much as possible.
The way for this to happen is to achieve an agreement, where both sides pull away from the brink. Open negotiations and goodwill are needed sand they need to work towards generating trust and joint action towards the demilitarisation of the Korean Peninsula.
The United States must pull back from military threats, regime change comments and allow a normal trading environment.
North Korea must be convinced that the best option is to pull back from its missile program.
Those who do not accept that this is a viable alternative need to consider one thing. Is the ongoing militarisation and march towards war a better alternative?
We all need to remember that North Korea has not invaded anyone. It does not have troops and shapes stationed in the territories of other countries.