Contrary to media reporting, North Korea has not backed off its threat to “bracket” Guam with missiles, and could enact its plan during U.S. Given that Kim Jong Un would want to demonstrate to military and party elites, rather than the population at large, that he had won a concession in return, face-saving might not even require the agreement to be made public.
Trump says: “The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!”
North Korea released propaganda posters on Thursday boasting that the USA mainland “is within our strike range!” and condemning United Nations sanctions over its recent missile tests.
While Pyongyang has never hidden its aggression towards neighbouring South Korea and Japan, its main adversary has remained the USA, which it has been targeting in its nuclear programme.
Similarly, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview published Wednesday that there was “no military solution” to North Korea’s nuclear threats because of Pyongyang’s artillery targeting the South Korean capital. President Donald Trump has responded forcefully that he, as commander in chief of US military forces, will use appropriate responses and threatens massive destruction to Kim and his country.
However, whether New Zealand should be willing to stand next to the United States and Australia, and ultimately the global community, in any defensive war against North Korea in which China will not engage, while American, Japanese or South Korean territories are attacked with unwarranted aggression is an entirely different question.
She referenced North Korea’s two nuclear tests a year ago and its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July. Or are you going to accept a world of fear dominated by totalitarian states like North Korea and China, where there is no freedom of the press and freedom of opinion? Kim Jong-un was not deterred by anything the United States did and he did not back down, as some mainstream sources in the US suggested. On Monday, Mattis responded to North Korea’s threats to target Guam: “If they do that, then it’s game on”.
But US intelligence officials said on Tuesday that North Korea has the ability to produce its own missile engines and intelligence suggests the country does not need to rely on imports.
Much of this subtlety was lost in mainstream US and Western media coverage of this episode. Even a conventional war could kill tens of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of South Koreans; North Korea has well over 10,000 artillery tubes and rocket launchers within range of Seoul.
“The lesson in all of this is that in today’s hostile, the United States dominated world, nothing works quite as well as a nuclear capability when it comes to keeping the Empire’s hostile military machine at bay, bearing in mind that the Pax Americana we have always been promised is about anything but peace”, Grossman concluded. “So from the administration’s perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two”.
In response to Trump’s comments, North Korea announced that it would launch four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam by mid-August.
Kim added, “If the Yankees persist in their extremely unsafe reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared”, meaning he might still order a strike against Guam, or put some missiles offshore to test American resolve. “I have faith in the Lord”, 58-year-old accountant Adoracion Manibusan said after Pyongyang took a step back from the brink. Most importantly, conversely to Trump’s thinking, Kim Jong-un has not made any “well reasoned decision” to back down. Pyongyang released images of this, showcasing a map outlining a flight path for the missiles from the coastal city of Sinpo in North Korea to Guam.
THAAD missiles in South Korea. As the world waits with bated breath, no one can say for sure what the next line of action would be in the Korean Peninsula. The objective, as it seems now, was to prompt world powers, mainly the US, to sit down to talk and make assurances on security.