Opinion

Thursday 22 February 2018

Korean crisis ending peacefully would create world order US and China crave

'One way or another, the coming months will shape global security for many years ahead'
'One way or another, the coming months will shape global security for many years ahead'

David Ignatius

The North Korean nuclear threat is a "hinge" moment for the United States and China, and for the new international order both nations say they want.

If Washington and Beijing manage to stay together in dealing with Pyongyang, the door opens on a new era in which China will play a larger and more responsible role in global affairs, commensurate with its economic power. If the great powers can't co-operate, the door will slam shut - possibly triggering a catastrophic military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

President Donald Trump's bullying style obscures the extent to which he has tried to marry US policy on North Korea with that of China. For the most part, he has been surprisingly successful. Beijing and Washington have mostly been aligned, as in this past weekend's unanimous UN Security Council vote in favour of additional sanctions against Pyongyang to punish its continued missile tests.

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