NEW YORK: They say you should speak softly and carry a big stick, and that's just what the U.S. and South Korea are doing by announcing joint military exercises — right in the middle of peace talks with North Korea.
But this big stick business won't wash with the North. They're complaining — quite reasonably, it seems — that scheduling war games with 16,000 troops isn't exactly the best way to conduct the peace negotiations currently under way at Columbia University in New York.
The South Korean maneuvers are set to start on August 18. And Uncle Sam seems to be further antagonizing the North by flying 150 warplane reconnaissance flights near the demilitarized zone. Perhaps they've been encouraged by recent reports of mass starvation over the border. But they would do well to remember another maxim: don't beat a man when he's down.