Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Protesters in Florida gathered in Florida earlier this month to demand a diplomatic approach to tensions with Kim Jong-un's regime.

Protesters in Florida gathered in Florida earlier this month to demand a diplomatic approach to tensions with Kim Jong-un's regime. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Most Crave Diplomacy, Trump Warns 'All Options on Table' for North Korea

Most Americans favor non-military approach to tensions with North Korea

Julia Conley

President Donald Trump offered more tough talk after North Korea performed its most recent missile launch over Japan, warning on Tuesday that "all options are on the table." But while Trump's approach to North Korea has involved both veiled and explicit threats of military action, polling shows that most Americans would prefer the president consider one option that he's left off the table in his rhetoric on the matter—that of high-level diplomatic discussions with Kim Jong-un's regime.

While behind-the-scenes talks have taken place between diplomatic officials from both countries, Trump has indicated that he sees military threats and action as the best way to approach the isolated regime.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said "enough is enough" from North Korea and warned that "something serious has to happen" in response to Monday's missile launch.

The missile North Korea fired into the Pacific Ocean on Monday was reportedly the same ballistic missile that it could potentially launch toward Guam, as it threatened to do earlier this month. Kim Jong-un threatened to attack Guam after Trump said the U.S. would respond with "fire and fury" if North Korea continued testing nuclear weapons. After the Guam threat, the president said of North Korea, “things will happen to them like they never thought possible" should they attack the U.S. territory.

The missile launch came a week after Trump boasted to a crowd in Phoenix, Arizona that Kim was "starting to respect" the U.S. following the president's threats. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also remarked that week that Pyongyang had "certainly demonstrated some level of restraint" in recent days.

But after the quiet proved to be short-lived, Trump's newest threats continued the cycle that's been established in recent weeks between North Korea and the U.S.: violence met with threats of more violence. Meanwhile, South Korea dropped eight powerful bombs at a firing range near its border with North Korea, in order to "display a strong capability to punish" Pyongyang if war touches off.

As the international anti-nuclear group Global Zero pointed out on Monday, a majority of Americans oppose Trump's threats when it comes to North Korea and instead support diplomatic and non-military solutions to diminish tensions.

A Harvard-Harris poll conducted last week found that Trump's threats haven't been met favorably by most Americans. Fifty-three percent don't approve of how he has handled escalating tensions with North Korea, and 56 percent found his "fire and fury" comment, made spontaneously at a press conference on the opioid epidemic in the U.S., was "over the top and unhelpful," according to The Hill's report on the survey.

The United Nations Security Council is holding talks on Tuesday to discuss North Korea's latest action.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Total Devastation' as Hurricane Ian Tears Through Florida

"Always remember that climate breakdown is only getting started," said one climate scientist. "It will keep getting worse so long as the fossil fuel industry exists. Cause, effect."

Jake Johnson ·

Truss' Tories Plan to Slash Public Spending While Clinging to Chaos-Causing Tax Cuts

"When the IMF tells you, 'hang on guys, this is going to be so bad for inequality it needs a rethink,' you've got a serious problem," one U.K. activist said of the new mini-budget.

Jessica Corbett ·

Sanders, Kaine Hail US Senate's Passage of Brazil Election Resolution

"It is important for the people of Brazil to know we're on their side, on the side of democracy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "With passage of this resolution, we are sending that message."

Brett Wilkins ·

Highland Park Victims Sue Gun-Maker, Stores Over Negligence and Deceptive Practices

Lawyers argued that the "shooter was the type of a young consumer susceptible to Smith & Wesson's deceptive and unfair marketing, and was enabled by his father."

Julia Conley ·

NC Dems Plead for Cash as Beasley Deadlocked With GOP Opponent in Decisive US Senate Race

Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley has a one-point lead, but Trump-backed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd is getting more support from the Republican Party.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo