Will the US Go to War With North Korea?

For a number of years, North Korea’s government has seemingly taken an odd pleasure in periodic saber-rattling with South Korea, Japan and the United States. Normally, the attempts to get a rise out of these world leaders have been largely ineffective, but that may change with President Donald Trump commanding the White House.

This shift became apparent after North Korea conducted a pair of recent ballistic missile tests, prompting concern from the international community.

In response, the United Nations Security Council, including China and Russia, unanimously passed a set of new, very strict sanctions against North Korea. Trump also signed similar economic punishments  in the United States.

North Korea responded with indignation, promising military retaliation over these actions. In a strongly worded statement, Trump maintained that if the country continued to make threats, it would “be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

An official response from North Korea slammed Trump for being “bereft of reason” and as such, impossible to deal with diplomatically. The statement also mocked Trump for his frequent golf trips, claiming he fails to “grasp the ongoing grave situation” and displays indications of “senility.”

North Korea also claims that it is preparing to launch missiles toward the U.S. island territory of Guam. South Korean military intelligence, however, has yet to see any indication that its northern neighbor is arranging this sort of strike.

Regardless, Trump has since taken to Twitter to issue new threats to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un:

But the question remains: Is nuclear war on the horizon? By most indications no, it is not.

For a very long time, China existed as one of North Korea’s few economic and — by extension — military allies in Asia. In recent times, though, the nature of this relationship has gradually changed. In February, China took the profound step of ending all coal trade with North Korea, an unprecedented move that has put immense pressure on Pyongyang.

More important, however, is China’s recent statement that it will not back North Korea if the country provokes a war with the United States. Though not especially surprising, as China’s foreign policy has tended toward conservative pragmatism for some time now, this declaration likely represents the strongest possible deterrent against any military action on Kim Jong-un’s part.

What about Russia? With tensions between the United States and Russia returning to a strained state, particularly after the new sanctions passed by Congress, it appears that Moscow and Pyongyang had been flirting with the idea of strengthening ties.

The current flare-up of tensions between North Korea and the U.S., however, seems to have put a damper on this effort.

Russia, like China, does not often engage in impulsive foreign policy; right now Moscow has too much at stake in Syria, where it is backing President Bashir al-Assad, to risk upsetting its already tenuous agreements with the U.S.-led coalition.

Another strong indication of Russia’s position is evident in its mobilization of air defense systems last week in the Far East. The fact that both Russia and China backed the UN’s recent sanctions should also speak volumes about where they stand on the North Korea issue.

At this point, President Trump represents the closest thing to a wild card in this scenario. Americans concerned about open warfare with North Korea, however, should keep in mind that declarations of war cannot be made without the approval of Congress.

As it stands, Trump has an uneasy relationship with Congressional Republicans — and it seems more than likely that they would not back a preemptive strike against Pyongyang.

However, that does not mean the American public should be complacent.

Those who want to make their voices heard should find their representatives here and their senators here. If you prefer, you can also call the Capitol Hill switchboard and ask to be connected to your Congressperson’s office by dialing 202-224-3121.

Photo Credit: dion gillard/Flickr

65 comments

Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE24 days ago

I doubt it. Where would we then be?

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One Heart inc
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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David F
David Fabout a month ago

Will says, "Do you know what socialism is? ….Whitehouse a private dwelling? No, all government and all socialist."

When my grandfather was old enough to vote the US government consumed 3% of the Gross national product. Now this dreadnaught is spending 3% in deficit every year and over 36% of GNP. Government is a necessary evil, It has no right to enslave so many taking over half of what they earn.
BTW, fortunately the government builds almost nothing here; it is built with competitive bidding in the private free market. There are the crony exceptions like the $5 billion Obamacare website disaster that was politically assigned by politicians.

Will says, "Do you have black friends, Jews, Indians? Not colleagues! Friends who you invite to your home and parties?"
Of course, minority friends for decades, colleagues and church friends also, some were liberal at one time, they have grown and seen the light.

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David F
David Fabout a month ago

Will says, "You live In a paradise but you do your best to make it hell for everyone else because you have some weird catholic ideology that makes you think Europeans are superior."

Bazaar sentence, makes no sense, why would I think Europeans are Superior?

Will says, "Seriously, did you vote for trump? Do you see him as an intellectual equal or superior?"
Absolutely I was one of the majority of Americans in the majority of states that overwhelmingly were not victimized by our massive Fake News recognizing mega Criminal Hillary was a train wreck.

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David F
David Fabout a month ago

Will says, "David F. There is no such thing as different races. We are all the same race or we would not be able to interbreed with each other! Fact!"
Totally true, however the Democrats continuously focused on class division, black white, Hispanic, new in your face classes with special privileges like gay and transgender.
Obama’s behavior as divider in chief demonstrated when he did not leave out the word Class in is public speeches for three straight years.

Will says, "Many Euro-Americans are sad. Why? You don't have to pay royalties on the natural resources on other people's land."

What is that about?

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

DPK has issued leaflets telling its people how to cook with grass. They are in the Bronze Age when it comes the countryside.

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

Even if it did, sending in troops would be so unpopular that I don't see it happening.

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

Let's hope not.

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Will Rogers
Will Rogersabout a month ago

Aah you could only manage a line this time David F....come on do better than that, I made several,points . I dare you to make one. One cogent point, go on, I bet you can't defend or make one point.

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David F
David Fabout a month ago

Will, that was a confused manifesto, was there some kind of point?

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