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The Options for Donald Trump on North Korea are Limited

Updated on December 8, 2017
Screen shot from Youtube
Screen shot from Youtube

The Strike Option may not Work

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikkei Haley has repeatedly said that “all options” are on the table and that presumably includes an attack on the North Korean nuclear and missile facilities. The Americans since 1994, have been considering a strike on North Korea when Bill Clinton was the president. But for teh last 2 decades or more the Americans have been contemplating a strike but at the last moment backed down.President Trump who was earlier talking about a military action and generally breathing fire has somewhat toned down his rhetoric after he realized that a strike on the North will be counterproductive. News Week magazine has reported that there are still hawks in the US, like General McMaster who advocate a "limited strike".

the same is repeating as President Trump who was earlier talking about a military action and generally breathing fire has somewhat toned down his rhetoric after he realized that a strike on the North will be counterproductive. News Week magazine has reported that there are still hawks in the US, like General McMaster who advocate a "limited strike" but the President may not listen to them

Danger to South Korea

Further, the South Koreans are not enamored of a military strike as they are aware of the danger to them and unlikely to give the USA a go ahead to execute the attack. The fact is that any strike on the North would bring a fierce response and even in a conventional war the South, whose population centers are within the artillery range of the North Korean guns could well see anything up to a million deaths. this is a reality as almost 70% of the population as well as the Capital Seul is close to the DMZ, hence extremely vulnerable.

In case, Km Jong -Un decides on a nuclear strike and even one bomb hits South Korea, the causalities and destruction would be immeasurable. This is the reason Trump has backed off and now is concentrating on sanctions to cripple the regime with the help of China.This news is reported by CNN.

North Korea and nuclear program

The solution is not simple as the Korean regime is a dictatorship which rules with an iron fist.No dissent is tolerated and whatever resources are available are given to the Military first before anything reaches the people. In case the sanctions are enforced by all including China, there is no guarantee that the North will give up its nuclear arsenal or stop perfecting ICBM’s. Most likely Kim Jong will burden his people with more economic hardship as he continues on his path of having a missile system that can hit the USA. In other words, the North Korean people will be the main sufferers. The North Koreans have repeatedly said that their nuclear program is not- negotiable. There does not appear that there is any chance that the North Korean leader will compromisese on this agenda.

Effect of sanctions

The North will not give up its nuclear program and the only effect of the sanctions is greater misery for the Korean people. The South cannot approve the military option as it would lead to a great calamity and complete destruction of the South. It could well be back to the stone age for them.The US may win but will the US send ground troops into the North? If they do what will China do? It intervened in 1950 on the Korean side. It has a mutual defense pact with Korea; will China annul it?

Limited options

The options for Donald Trump are very limited. He is constrained by so many factors that will not allow him to authorize a strike on the North. He has to look for other options for even in the event of a limited strike North Korea has said that its response will be “merciless”. Probably the best course would be for Trump to pick up the phone and talk to Kim. That could open up exciting possibilities. Trump is an unconventional man and in case he takes this step he could make history.


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