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Korea Has Joined the Ranks of the Super Powers
The Entry into an Exclusive Club
The 30th November was a day that Korea and the world will remember. On this day the North Koreans launched a Hwasong-15 missile that flew 4,475 kilometers(2,800 miles) and landed in the Pacific. It was a clear message that the US was under the notice and that is the reason for the frenzied request to China to rein in the North Koreans.
North Korea has the capability to strike the American mainland in the near future. The bigger ramification of this ICBM test is that the North has entered an exclusive club that has only China, Russia, and The USA as members. The North Koreans are in the company of these powers. The effect is almost electric as Nuclear powers like India and Pakistan, not forgetting Israel is nowhere in the picture. The feat of The North Koreans is thus credible. The world will have to get up and take notice. It does not mean war, but it does mean that the days of US overlordship has begun to ebb.
US and Allies Alarmed
The launch of the ICBM and its landing in the Pacific has set the alarm bells ringing in Washington and more so in Seoul and Tokyo. These nations are worried and just after the test, the South Korean president Moon had a telephonic talk with Trump. Niky Halley, the US permanent representative in the UN has called for an emergency session of the security council.
The Americans are trying another ploy, to plead with China by praising president Xi, so that he should act and curtail the supply of oil to cripple the North Korean regime. This may not work as Russia may not play ball and in case Beijing does anything like this, the Russians are sure to keep the supply of oil flowing.to the North. Putin has already rejected the US request to downgrade its relations with the North Korean regime.
As things stand practically nothing has happened on the ground to show that China has moved to stop the flow of oil to North Korea.
Reaction to the test
The Americans would desperately like to attack the North. But they are deterred because Kim Jong has the capital of South Korea and 80% of the population within range of his artillery. He could also launch a nuclear attack, if pushed to the extreme. This is no laughing matter and the fact remains that North Korea has built a deterrent, in case it was not there, the Korean regime would have ceased to exist a long time back.
No Free Lunch
North Korea has a point that cannot be brushed under the carpet. Assuming Kim Jong had no power of retaliation and no WMD as a deterrent, would the USA have waited even a day before launching a cruise missile or bombing attack? One has just to look around as to what happened to Gaddafi and Saddam to realize that the US always attacks nations that cannot retaliate back. Trump ordered cruise missile attack on Syria, as he knew that Assad could do nothing except twiddle his thumbs.
The USA thus had a free run but with Korea its a different ball game. The North can retaliate and at the minimum inflict at least 100,000 casualties, not forgetting the 28000 US troops on the DMZ. The US has realized that the stakes are different here, hence the desperate pleading to China to help out. The Americans have realized there are no free lunches in this part of East Asia.