Written by 2:49 pm Lifestyle, Uncategorized

US and Allies Reevaluate After Latest North Korean Missile Test


According to a statement released by Trump’s national security advisor on Sunday, the United States and its allies, including China, have been collaborating on various responses to North Korea’s most recent test of its ballistic missile—which was a failed test, as the missiles exploded shortly after having been launched. He further supported his claim by citing an alleged international consensus to act regarding the matter.

H.R. McMaster, current national security advisor under the Trump administration, also, reassuringly, implied that there is no current deliberation of military action in the region by Trump.

“It’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully,” McMaster declared during his appearance on ABC’s “This Week” program. “We are working together with our allies and partners and with the Chinese leadership to develop a range of options.”

McMaster continued on to state that, “There is an international consensus now, including the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just cannot continue.” Thus, he indicates that a global response to the belligerence of North Korea is certainly in the works, but does not enter into details of how international powers plan to go about this.

The Trump administration is currently concentrating its tactic for dealing with North Korea on more rigid economic sanctions, potentially incorporating an oil embargo, a worldwide ban on North Korea’s airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks that continue to conduct business with Pyongyang, according to a report released by Reuters last week. The report cited US officials as the sources of such insight regarding possible government responses.

Although Trump has made use of increasingly harsh rhetoric in response to North Korea’s latest missile tests, his options for tangibly dealing with this complex and long-stretching problem seem quite limited.

Trump’s current options can essentially be divided into four basic, and unsurprising, categories: economic sanctions, covert action, diplomatic negotiations and military force.

The North Korean missile launched in the Sunday test exploded almost immediately following its launch, according to the US Pacific Command.

Mere hours after the matter, Vice President Pence arrived in South Korea to partake in ongoing discussions in relation to the North Korea’s increasingly bold arms program. Pence’s visit began the day following the great North Korean celebration of the 105th anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung’s birth. The celebration was marked by a military parade in its capital, Pyongyang. Interestingly enough, what seemed to be novel long-range ballistic missiles were on display in the parade.

Tensions between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un have been consistently escalating, especially as Kim continually rejects rebukes from China—who Trump was confident would be able to curb the hostility of North Korea by exercising some of its strong economic force over—and carries out the development of nuclear and missile programs, which the US considers a direct threat.

This past Sunday, Trump admitted that the more lenient posture he had adopted in relation to China’s management of its currency was connected to the aid China could provide the US in dealing with the North Korea problem.

Over his preferred platform of Twitter, Trump communicated his thoughts in tweeting: “Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!” Trump has rejected an agreement of the campaign to refer to China in such a manner.

South Korea also recognized the gravity of the situation in stating that North Korea’s most recent show of force, through the missile tests, “threatened the whole world.”

However, a US foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence on Air Force Two attempted to play down the tension to a certain degree by stating that “We had good intelligence before the launch and good intelligence after the launch.”

He continued on to state that, “It’s a failed test. It follows another failed test. So really no need to reinforce their failure. We don’t need to expend any resources against that.” According to the advisor, the missile’s flight did not last longer than five seconds.

In a speech at an Easter service with US troops stationed in South Korea, Pence maintained that the US commitment to South Korea was unwavering. The Vice President declared, “Let me assure you under President Trump’s leadership, our resolve has never been stronger. Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger.”

Pence was starting off a 10-day trip to Asia in a display of US dedication to its ally in the face of rising tension, according to Pence’s assistants.

Additionally, US Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is geared toward the region, specifically towards the Korean peninsula in preparation of any scenario.

China, which Trump has insisted should to do more to rein in North Korea, has condemned its weapons tests and supported UN sanctions. China has displayed increased frustration with the actions of North Korea lately.

Beijing banned imports of North Korean coal in February, thus cutting off its chief export. China’s customs department issued an order last week ordering traders to return North Korean coal cargoes, according to trading sources aware of the order.

Trump’s choice to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield this month as a follow-up to his prior threats of involvement regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons has prompted questions about his plans for dealing with North Korea.

Pyongyang has conducted missile and nuclear tests despite UN sanctions, and frequently threatens destruction of South Korea and the US.

“The president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons,” McMaster told ABC.

However, McMaster recognized the alarming possibility of North Korean revenge if Washington utilizes military force in an attempt to stop its weapons programs. He wearily said, “What (is) particularly difficult about – about dealing with this regime, is that it is unpredictable.”

South Korea, which currently hosts 28,500 US troops and is set to holds a presidential election on May 9, after its prior president was recently impeached, cautioned that penal action could have been taken if the Sunday testing has resulted in greater provocation.

North Korea, in turn, has warned the possibility of a nuclear strike against the US if provoked. It has revealed that it has developed and is prepared to launch a missile that can allegedly reach the mainland US. While some officials and experts think North Korea still needs time to master the technology needed for such a feat, many recognize that the country’s developing arms program seems well in its way to the development of technology capable of such in the near future.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month—just a day before a summit between the US and China that was expected to touch upon the topic of how to deal with North Korea. This test was interpreted as a warning to both parties involved in the summit meeting, and also as a reminder of North Korea’s growing weaponry arsenal.

Tension had rapidly increased among unease that North Korea would conduct a sixth nuclear or ballistic missile test near Saturday’s celebration of Kim Il Sung’s birthday, which it regards as the “Day of the Sun.”

In Pyongyang, the April 15th holiday was received with a cheery atmosphere at a flower show, with families out and about; some of which were even taking pictures with North Korean-made smartphones. There was, however, no announcement of the test failure made by the KCNA state news agency that day.

Company worker Rim Chung Ryol negated any knowledge of the test, and stated in an interview to Reuters that “If it is a failure, then failure is the mother of success.”

Similarly, North Korean Factory worker Ri Gul Chol also had not heard about the missile test. Ri continued on to confidently declare that, “whatever Kim Jong Un decides and instructs will succeed and all the citizens will support him.”

Featured Image via Wikimedia.

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