Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has rushed to South Korea, North Korea has announced it was suspending all traffic with its southern neighbor, and South Korean leaders were promising to do something in retaliation for the sinking of one of its naval vessels by a North Korean submarine. The South made clear there would be no further economic aid to North Korea and the loud speakers on the border would be turned on to send propaganda to its northern neighbors. South Korean personnel are being told to depart from neutral areas and economic exchanges have ground to a halt. China, which maintains economic and social ties with both nations, admits the situation is “extremely complicated” and would prefer this nightmare of shouting and threatening ended as soon as possible. Neither side wants or is ready for a destructive war which would result in untold deaths and devastation to both sectors of the Korean peninsula.

The Chinese are caught in the middle and its government is urging “dialogue” and is more than willing to serve in some form of mediator capacity. It is time for America to back away and allow the Chinese to handle this hot potato. There is always the issue of miscalculation and violence emerging even though both would prefer a peaceful resolution of the incident.