Monday, April 17, 2017
Guys, I guess POTUS is revving up for war, and he ain't no jokin' bout it.
In the lead-up to North Korea’s latest missile test, Donald Trump had battled to convince Kim Jong-un he was picking a fight with the wrong guy.
The US president pounded Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles and then ordered a naval “armada” into the waters around the Korean peninsula. He dropped the “mother of all bombs” on eastern Afghanistan and used Twitter to hammer home his message.
North Korea is looking for trouble,” Trump tweeted last week as Kim’s technicians made the final preparations for Sunday’s botched but nevertheless defiant test.
But experts say Pyongyang’s latest act has underlined the futility of the billionaire’s efforts to bully Kim Jong-un into abandoning his nuclear ambitions.
“There is a problem with playing the military threat [card] with North Korea because they are inclined to call the bluff,” said John Delury, a North Korea expert from Yonsei University in Seoul. “I’m not saying they tested because of the threats. But bringing a naval strike group doesn’t help if your goal is to put off a test. If anything you are increasing the odds.”
Trump supporters claim his apparent strategy of using spectacular shows of military might to cow the North Korean dictator and convince the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to crack down on his ally is paying off.
“Displays of American power matter. A lot,” Daniel Blumenthal, a China specialist from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative thinktank, argued on Twitter, describing the strikes on Syria and Afghanistan as “very much messages to Xi and Kim”.
“Given the physical damage that would cause to nearby areas, it would have been unusual for a loyal, filial grandson to order a nuclear test on such an auspicious day,” he said.
But when that test does come it would prove the day of reckoning for Trump’s more aggressive approach towards North Korea. “If the US responds with an attack, that would confirm Kim’s claims that he is surrounded by hostile forces that are determined to carry out a pre-emptive strike,” Petrov said.
“The moment of truth for the US will be whether it strikes [in response to a nuclear test] and provokes a resumption of the Korean war at the expense of South Korean security, or stands down and betrays its weakness.”
“What would the US do? Withdraw, hang around or strike?” Petrov asked. “The ball is in the Americans’ court.”and there's no Michael Jordan to shoot it. It's Trump himself, folks. Hope it's not an airball.