Pyongyang’s failed ballistic missile launch may have eased the risk of an American response, but it hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from going slow on its plans for dealing with the Pyongyang regime. Trump says his military options are on the table but can he really put them into action?
Maybe not and here are five reasons why:
1) North Korea’s unpredictability
Pyongyang’s unpredictable nature has been a cause for concern for the US. Last year, it test-fired more that two dozen missiles. It’s not your regular adversary, a couple of worrying characteristics makes it too hard to ignore — a flourishing nuclear weapons programme and an unpredictable young leader. The American ability to figure out what they are onto is uncertain.
US fears their small strike may generate a big response from North Korea and that’s making everyone sit tight right now.
2) South Korean fear
Any preemptive action by the US will only amplify South Korea’s worry. North Korea is believed to have at least 10 nuclear weapons and an equally large stockpile of chemical arsenal. Seoul is located 56 kilometres south of the border and within the reach of North Korea’s missiles. A retaliatory action will cause extremely high casualties.
That’s not all, North Korea also regularly threatens Japan. In March this year, the former had fired four ballistic missiles, out of which three landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
A strike by the US may be a remote possibility as it will have to be in consultation with South Korea, which will bear the brunt. Otherwise it risks its alliance with South Korea and Japan.
3) Chinese connection
There is little bit of cosying up happening between the US and Beijing. US President Donald Trump made an offer to Chinese President Xi Jinping that there will be better trade terms between the two if China puts North Korea’s threatening behaviour to rest. China is a close ally of North Korea and accounts for 80 per cent of the latter’s foreign trade.
By using China’s cooperation, Trump has moved away from US’s past policies which didn’t barter economic or foreign policies with China in exchange for support on North Korea.
Trump last week had said that he had sent an “armada” to the Korean peninsula. But the aircraft carrier group was thousands of miles away. It could be a deliberate ploy, a subtle warning to North Korea, but beyond that there seems to be no strong reason for a strike
5) Russia in it too
Russia used its veto power to derail an American move to in the UN to condemned North Korea’s latest missile test. The statement had consensus from China, Russia was the only dissenter.
Read more at:economic times