This is pretty crazy: N. Korea must face consequences for ship: Clinton. How to deal with proof that North Korea shot at and sunk a South Korean ship? I’ll assume for now that NK actually did it and had no real justification, since I haven’t seen anything pointing otherwise.
I’ve got about 10 conflicting opinions running around in my head, but to quote The Dude (who was quoting George Bush): “This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.” I’d classify myself close to a pacifist (maybe “pragmatic pacifist”?), but seriously, WTF is going on with this mild-sounding response? I think a big part of the reason why we’ve had (relatively) little conflict in the past few decades is that small, aggressive, countries know there will be a large “global” response to stop them if they do something crazy. Like Iraq invading Kuwait. Let’s not get into the US invading other countries, as that’s a whole other mess and I’d say also decreases global stability.
This is completely different than the (fake) justifications for the invasion of Iraq, or for pre-emptive strikes against Iran or North Korea. Those presume the supposed weapons sought by them are not purely defensive, which is difficult to prove unless they’re used offensively. This attack, however, is real and the lack of an appropriate response will effectively condone the action.
What would be an appropriate “pragmatic pacifist” response? Maybe try to disable some, or all, of the NK navy (as opposed to sinking them, which would definitely kill a lot of people). Definitely disabling, or sinking, any NK boats that cross into SK, as seen in this recent event.