Published on News24: 29 September 2017
As the madness between the United States and North Korea escalates, one wonders whether there’s a coldly calculated agenda lurking behind President Trump’s warmongering declarations.
These include the following tweets by the US President (@realDonaldTrump):
Not to mention these recent public statements by President Trump:
Coupled to these declarations is Trump’s core ideology of ‘America first’, and it is this explicit ideology that should be of serious concern to South Korea.
America first … South Korea second
At this stage, it remains unknown whether North Korea has the capability to accurately strike a major US city with a nuclear warhead-enabled inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). But US experts believe that if this capability does not already exist, it will very soon. Hence, the extreme urgency being shown by Trump to deal with North Korea’s nuclear threat as soon as possible.
While it has long been ‘acceptable’ for South Korea to carry the risk of nuclear attack by North Korea, it has been made clear that it is ‘unacceptable’ for the United States to carry that same risk.
Trump’s ‘America first’ ideology asserts that the interests of all other nations, including close allies, come second to those of America – particularly in terms of politics, economics and the environment. This has been unashamedly demonstrated by Trump’s recent withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord, despite intense international criticism.
Of even greater concern though, is the extent to which Trump’s ideology applies to American national security. More simply put: to what extent is Trump prepared to compromise the national security of other nations to preserve that of the United States?
Looking at Trump’s handling of the North Korean situation thus far, one might suspect he views South Korea as expendable in his quest to neutralise the North Korean nuclear threat. It’s a case of, ‘we’ll do whatever it takes to preserve American national security’.
Coldly calculated agenda
It’s a dangerous deadlock – North Korea is refusing to denuclearise no matter how much diplomatic pressure is applied, and the US is not prepared to make any concessions. In Trump’s immutable opinion, North Korea must denuclearise … or else!
Knowing Trump, he probably briefed the Pentagon to: “Find a way for us to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea without being held accountable for both its and, potentially, our allies’ destruction…”
Well, the Pentagon knows that a pre-emptive strike on North Korea would immediately summon both China and Russia into the fray.
So, how do you start a war without actually starting the war yourself? Answer: You provoke your volatile opponent to start it for you! And Trump has quite masterfully manoeuvred Kim Jong-un into this exact position.
On the precipice of all-out nuclear war
The latest threat by North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, to ‘shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country’, must have been music to the Pentagon’s ears.
There could be no better excuse for the US to go to war with North Korea, than Kim Jong-un attempting to engage and shoot down a sortie of United States B1-B bombers flying in international airspace. The fact that the US bombers might be flying provocatively close to North Korean territory, despite Ri Yong-ho’s stern warning, would be considered irrelevant.
Trump would pounce on the incident. The Pentagon would quickly deem it an ‘attack’ tantamount to an ‘act of war’, giving Trump the convenient green light to ‘totally destroy’ Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Tragically, the ensuing war would decimate South Korea and, potentially, Japan – but this would work in America’s favour in fuelling its justification to ‘devastate’ North Korea.
Media and Twitter would explode
No doubt, after the loss of two million South Koreans, half-a-million Japanese and five million North Koreans, Trump would use his 280 characters to tweet the following:
This would be of little consolation to the millions dead in Asia, the tens of millions suffering or dying from radiation sickness, and the hundreds of millions that would suffer long-term terminal illnesses as a result of radiation exposure.
This craziness begs the question: Would Trump’s approach to North Korea be different if his sons were stationed in US bases on the border of North Korea, and his daughter, son-in-law and grand children were living in Seoul? Surely his approach would be decidedly more delicate.
Seoul survivor - US alliance more liability than asset
In the interest of national security and long-term self-preservation, the leaders of both South Korea and Japan should seriously reconsider their current alliance with the United States.
They should ask themselves this key question: Does President Trump value the national security of the United States above the national security of his allies?
All his declarations thus far indicate that he absolutely does…
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