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Dealing with North Korea
Bill Powell says in his recent cover story on North Korea that the leadership, “for reasons only they can fathom,” are determined to continue the coldest of wars [June 22]. North Korea has never varied in its determination to conquer the south. Only the fear of U.S. nuclear retaliation stops their invasion. The nuclear program is designed to prevent this by the threat of mutually assured destruction.
Brad Elliott,
North Rocks, Australia

China and the U.S. have long used the Korean peninsula as an ideological playground. Why does everyone continue to view the North and South Korean situation as anything other than a simmering proxy war?
Marshall Rowe,
Merewether, Australia

As you said in your story, Pyongyang’s only consistency has been its unpredictability. So America should attack it with a larger level of unpredictability. Lift all sanctions. Let the giant corporate world in. The only life that the larger population of North Korea knows is the life of not having much. Give them a life of choices — export the good life into North Korea. Show them what life could be like with someone else in the capital. Do this for a year or so, then push your agendas. And if Pyongyang again starts to drag its feet, take it all away. This will be the impetus for the great democratic revolution that the world has been trying, and failing, to force onto the North Korean people. Of course the threat that it could all be taken away will surely give Pyongyang something to think about before dragging its feet.
Tapas Barsimha Thapa,
Bhaktapur, Nepal

Chinalco’s Failed Bid
Re Bill Powell’s essay “Foiled Again” [June 22]: I don’t know if I am disappointed at the failure of the proposed deal or the hidden political criticism of China. But I do bet the political tension will never ease when it comes to China. The essay is right to question whether the result would have been different if the deal was proposed by a private company in the West. I believe the root of the problem lies in the differences between capitalism and communism. I have spent 30 years of my life living on both sides, and I honestly believe that we build our societies using the same good values. We just speak different languages.
Yongfeng Shang,
Rosebery, Australia

Mormons and Prop 8
I’m grateful to David Van Biema for a refreshingly thoughtful, balanced article on Mormons [June 22]. What’s been alarming about the Prop 8 debate is how few people accusing Mormons of intolerance have been willing to look at why church members feel so strongly.
Greg Palmer,
Rexburg, Idaho, U.S.

Thank you for the fair and well-written article “The Storm Over the Mormons.” Over the years, as I have made decisions on which newsmagazine to subscribe to, I have always come back to the consistently objective and informative reporting in TIME.
Eileen Nagle,
Springville, Utah, U.S.

Thank you for shedding some light on Mormons who feel unsure about the issue of Proposition 8. As a student at Brigham Young University this year, I did not feel able to voice my own insecurity on the political issue, as several of my classmates bore obvious ill will toward those Mormons not 100% on board.
Chelsea Gibbs,
Mamaroneck, N.Y., U.S.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, like many other churches, did not have a moral beginning. It spoke out against gay marriage in Hawaii in 1998 and the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and ’80s. Just recently it marshaled its forces to vote against gay marriage in California. Gays are furious about this as they should be. The Mormons contributed half of the $40 million war chest to defeat gay rights. The U.S. Constitution, a great improvement on holy books, not only provides for separation of church and state but also provides for evolving morality. It finally gave blacks and females their freedom. There should now be an amendment to the Constitution to provide full citizenship for gays. They have been second-class citizens for far too long. Gays, as everyone should admit, have contributed a great deal toward humanity.
Ray Standiford,
Pattaya, Thailand

Brown in a Bind
it is true that Gordon Brown is running out of time (June 22). The writing on the wall is clear. It may be better for him to quit early so that a new government can come in with new ideas and plans.
Jacob Sahayam,
Trivandrum, India

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