Washington and Seoul are now in a retiring mood.

After an exhaustive military drill on the Korean Peninsula, called Foal Eagle, they perhaps have a reason to believe that jingoistic North Korea has been coerced and shall be exercising restraint.

They are mistaken. The so-called uneasy détente prevailing in the Pacific Rim is no criterion for lasting peace in the region.

The joint military exercises that took place amid high tensions with North Korea have angered the Stalinist state, which has threatened to strike deep inside Japan and destinations across the Atlantic. The drills, which involved around 10,000 U.S. troops and South Korean counterparts, have provided an apt opportunity for Pyongyang to flex its muscles.

The point is what’s next for the duo that had, of late, also signed a new agreement stating any attack on Seoul would be tantamount to an aggression against the United States.

The show of strength, coupled with the political will, hasn’t made any difference as far as the intentions of the communist state are concerned. This drives home the point that resorting to use of force or politics of coercion hasn’t worked.

Pyongyang is as dangerous as it was two months back.

Rather, it has gone over the brink and has unleashed a new wave of terror in the region by loading its missiles and putting forces on high alert.

The White House has to do something special and out of the box to overcome this mentality and make a serious endeavor to reach out to the regime in Pyongyang.

The U.S. mind-set that the drills were meant to defend its ally and buoy peace could backfire if Pyongyang started reading too much between the lines.

Operation Foal Eagle could turn foul for many of the eagles in Washington.

— The Khaleej Times, Dubai, May 1

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