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Fire, fury and North Korea: Has the US been cornered?

But more voices in the U.S. are calling for dialogue with North Korea without preconditions.

"We need to have dialogue with them... accept the fact they are a nuclear power," former Central Intelligence Agency director James Clapper told the Straits Times.

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

The Korea Herald in an opinion piece said that 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 cooperate, the door will slam shut - possibly triggering a catastrophic military conflict on the Korean Peninsula," read the piece by David Ignatius of the Washington Post, crossposted by the Korea Herald.

"The U.S. threat may be a bluff, but with Trump, you never know. Top U.S. officials understand that a pre-emptive war against North Korea could result in horrendous loss of life and a post-conflict outcome that would be worse for all parties. But when national security adviser H.R. McMaster says that a nuclear-armed North Korea is "intolerable" to Trump, one should assume he means it - and that he is preparing a menu of military options," Ignatius added.

India's leading newspaper The Times of India in an editorial said "avoid dangerous escalation of rhetoric, manage Pyongyang through talks and containtment."

For this rhetoric may spiral into war and all-out destruction. 

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