According to reports from the highly respected news source Reuters, North Korea did not react well to Donald Trump’s threats on Twitter this morning. The repositioning of the U.S. navy’s strike force Carl Vinson, coupled with China’s refusal of a shipment of North Korean coal (their major export) have led to increasingly heightened tensions in this already volatile region.
North Korean state media “warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression” per the Reuter’s report. Again “White House Press Secretary Spicer responded that Trump had put North Korea “clearly on notice” he would not tolerate certain actions, but dismissed Pyongyang’s nuclear attack threat.”
If you believe any statements coming from Sean Spicer, I’ve got some lovely oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you.
There are several factors now that justify President Obama telling Trump that North Korea is the most dangerous foreign relations problem facing the United States.
If the reports are true that China did decide to enforce its trade sanctions against North Korea, they are now economically isolated from the world.
Since the start of the Korean War back in the early 1950s, China has always had North Korea’s back. They sent Chinese troops to fight alongside North Korean soldiers against the United Nations’ forces. This action led General Douglas MacArthur to ask President Harry Truman to allow him to use nuclear weapons against China. Truman refused.
North Korea, and its mentally unstable leader, can no longer count on China to be its ally. They have nothing to lose by a pre-emptive strike.
We are still are still at war with North Korea
Fighting in the Korean War, which was technically called a “police action” by the Truman administration as only Congress could declare war, stopped as the result of a an armistice agreement signed in 1953. No treaty formally ending the war was ever signed or approved. While people in America may not feel that they are at war with North Korea, there are definite signs that North Korea does not share our feelings.
North Korea has nuclear capability and have no incentive not to use it.
Which is the equivalent of giving a loaded Colt 45 to a two-year as a play toy. Kim Jung Un, who has not hesitated to kill members of his immediate family in order to maintain power, has already tested their ability to launch ballistic missiles. In recent weeks, they launched four missiles intended to hit Japan. Fortunately, they fell short and landed in the Sea of Japan.
It would be beyond dangerous to dismiss, out of hand, Un’s threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States. The Vinson strike force will probably be positioned to intercept any missile launches from North Korea. But are they capable of intercepting simultaneous attacks launched against Japan, the U.S., and South Korea? Can we know for certain that North Korea does not have a submarine somewhere in the Pacific Ocean that could successfully launch a nuclear missile against our West Coast?
This Saturday marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, and grandfather of the current rule. What better time for Kim Jung Un to prove he is just as powerful, if not more so, than taking on the United States. When a wild animal is cornered, as Kim increasingly is, it will lash out without regard for the consequences.
A deft and sophisticated diplomatic approach is needed to defuse this situation. Instead, Trump’s reckless tweets this morning, seem designed to taunt North Korea and its leadership. North Korea WILL take Trump’s tweets literally. They cannot afford to do otherwise.
Has Trump’s incompetence backed us into a corner where our only option is to strike North Korea first?