Americans were in danger of losing their health care last week. They dodged a bullet. But there is a bigger danger looming. Tony Burman writes:
During a visit to South Korea earlier this month, Rex Tillerson, [Donald] Trump’s secretary of state, announced what appeared to be a dramatic change in American policy toward the nuclear threat of North Korea.Since the diplomacy of the past 20 years has “failed,” he warned, pre-emptive military action against North Korea is now “on the table.” Tillerson’s warning reflected the U.S. government’s worry that Kim’s renegade regime is accelerating its nuclear program.
Having lost big time in Congress, Trump will not take Korean threats -- which are not new -- lying down:
This nuclear challenge has confronted several American presidents since the 1990s. It has also frustrated China, North Korea’s neighbour and chief economic benefactor, which potentially stands to lose the most if the Korean Peninsula descends into chaos.This sudden reference by the Trump administration to the possibility of pre-emptive military action against North Korea has rattled the region. There are few informed analysts who see this option, if pursued, as anything but a certain catastrophe.North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is thought to be widely dispersed throughout the country. No single military strike could destroy it. North Korea also has an even larger stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. Analysts believe that an attack would give Kim’s regime ample time to hit back immediately at neighbouring South Korea and at U.S. military bases in the region.The potential death toll from such a conflict would be breathtaking. South Korea’s capital city of Seoul has a population of more than 10 million and is only about 50 kilometres from the border.
Mr.Trump was willing to throw 14 million people off medicare. Would the lives of 10 million Koreans lay heavily on his conscience?
Burman writes that "rather than a pre-emptive strike, what is needed is increasing economic and diplomatic pressure — in tandem with China — to rein in the North Korean regime."
We saw how Trump operates last week. That's not his style. Nor is it Kim Jong Un's.
Image: Daily Express