We’re hearing again that the US could be inching closer to launching an attack on North Korea, but beware all the noise from the mainstream media and tweets worded to make it sound like war is about to break out. There’s no real indication that we are anywhere closer to a US military strike on North Korea than we were a week ago.
North Korea to meet South Korea at DMZ
The renewed noise this week appear to stems from the talks between North and South Korea that are slated for this week. According to CNN, negotiators from both ends of the Korean Peninsula will meet at the Peace House in the Joint Security Area of the demilitarized zone. The so-called “truce village” is the only place in the DMZ where soldiers from North and South Korea stand facing each other. It’s also the same place where a North Korean soldier defected in dramatic fashion last month, running across the DMZ into South Korea under heavy gunfire.
The two nations will be discussing North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea starting next month. North and South Korea haven’t met at the DMZ since 2015, and analysts are warning against optimism as the two countries have met several times previously without any measurable permanent decrease in hostility between them.
Is a US military strike on North Korea really under consideration?
Gerald Seib, The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau chief, made one statement which seems to have the Twitter-verse up in arms, although many of the tweets quoting the article seem to be leaving out parts of the sentence.
“U.S. officials are debating whether it’s possible to mount a limited military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula.”
An analyst as well as a journalist, Seib explains the idea behind the so-called “bloody nose” strategy, something that was discussed just last month. Seib describes the strategy as reacting to a missile test with a targeted US military strike on North Korea to “bloody Pyongyang’s nose and illustrate the high price the regime could pay for its behavior.”
Obviously, the idea of any US military strike on North Korea is risky, and according to Seib, Trump administration officials are considering whether one is even feasible. Pyongyang has a wide array of military artillery in different shapes and forms pointed at Seoul across the DMZ, so it could kill thousands of South Koreans in minutes if it chose to use them. There’s also the risk that North Korea could use one of the nuclear weapons it has been testing.
Trump versus Kim Jong-un
President Trump’s war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not lacked media (or Twitter) attention over the last year, and the coverage continued with chilling warnings about the possibility of a US military strike on North Korea.
Democratic Congressman John Garamendi told CNN in an interview that the war of words between the two leaders could escalate into a war soon. He also said that there’s “a crazy leading North Korea” and also “a crazy in the White House.”
Trump ally Corey Lewandowski warned that with Trump in the White House, the possibility of a US military strike on North Korea is higher. He said on Fox News that the Obama administration did “absolutely nothing” about the North Korean threat, noting also that even Trump critics have said that Washington’s policies for dealing with Pyongyang over the last 30 years haven’t worked.
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seems to approve Trump’s tweets on North Korea. He told CNBC on Monday in Shanghai that many see Trump’s comments as “very provocative rhetoric,” but he added his own interpretation of them: “strong words and [a] message of [the] international community given to North Korea.”