The false dichotomy of "peace or war" with North Korea

Rather than heeding Graham’s bad advice, Trump would do well to follow the more sensible approach of the American public.

As new polling data commissioned by RealClearPolitics and the Charles Koch Institute shows, fully 70 percent of Americans support dealing with U.S.-North Korea tensions via diplomacy. Fewer than a third believe complete denuclearization is a realistic goal, but that does not deter enthusiasm for talks. In fact, even if Kim refuses to eliminate his nuclear program, a strong majority — 62 percent — want to maintain diplomatic engagement anyway. Fewer than two in 10 support any sort of military action, including airstrikes.

Americans’ view of Kim’s goals for his arsenal are likewise realistic and rational, the RCP/CKI poll found, with most saying Pyongyang wants nuclear weapons to deter regime change or to use as a bargaining chip to normalize international relations via sanctions relief. On all of these questions, the South Korean public, which was also polled, expressed similar views.