The Trump administration’s hard line on Syria has global implications. North Korea has taken our actions in the Middle East as a warning of what awaits them.And if President Trump’s rhetoric is any guide, they may be right. Trump noted recently that “North Korea is looking for trouble,” and he’s not afraid to give it to them.
Those hoping for peace and regional stability are relying on China to intercede. Even Trump has called upon the country to talk sense into Kim Jong-un’s regime. If China “does not decide to help,” as Trump puts it, the US “will solve the problem without them.”
That statement sounds ominous, but North Korea continues to act defiantly. They warned that any sign of military action from the United States will be met with a nuclear attack.
Pyongyang’s state run newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, phrased it like this: “Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland.”
Analysts are unsure how the regime would get those nuclear materials to the US mainland, but bases in South Korea and Japan are well with range of a North Korean attack.
China, in response to the mounting tensions, has moved 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea. They’re there, presumably, to help with an anticipated refugee crisis. Should war break out, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans may flee to China.
Yet the increase in Chinese troops on the border has brought up memories of the origins of the Cold War.
General HR McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told FOX News Sunday that North Korea was showing signs of intentionally “provocative behavior.”
“This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime. The president has asked to be prepared to give him a full range of options to remove that threat to the American people and to our allies and partners in the region,” he said.
In response to North Korea’s continued missile testing, the US has sent a fleet of ships into the area to monitor the situation. The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is leading the way. The Vinson is backed by the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain.
“This goes to prove that the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase,” North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman said. “The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.”
“We will hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions. We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms.”