The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to review all strategies for dealing with an increasingly hostile North Korea.
President Donald Trump stressed that all options are on the table. These options include diplomatic options, economic sanctions, as well as the dreaded military option. US officials involved did note that much would have to change to truly consider the military option.
Although military action may not be likely given the projected loss of life and extremely unpredictable stance of North Korea’s next door neighbor China, US officials have suggested one option would be to return the rogue police state to America’s list of known countries that support terrorism. This would automatically tighten economic sanctions on the already struggling dictatorship.
This suggestion was made after the February 13 assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s half brother Kim Jong-Nam. The assassination was carried out at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysian using the lethal VX nerve agent. VX is universally recognized as a weapon of mass destruction. It was officially banned during the 1993 chemical weapons convention.
Video of the attack was caught on airport security cameras. Footage has been televised internationally. It can be found by a simple Youtube search.
More concerning to the Trump administration and US officials is Pyongyang’s series of recent missile test launches. North Korea has repeatedly expressed antagonism and hostility towards neighbors such as South Korea and Japan, both US allies. In addition, for years North Korea has verbally threatened the United States with destruction.
While much of North Korea’s rhetoric has been seen as little more than posturing, its capabilities to turn words into deadly action inches closer year by year. For this reason, President Trump and his administration are considering setting up missile defense systems in both South Korea and Japan. However, talks of installing such sophisticated missile defense systems in the region has China complaining about the threat the systems pose to their own security. It is a very dynamic situation.
President Trump’s official review of North Korea is expected to be completed by the end of March.
Spetalnick, Matt, and David Brunnstrom. “Facing Test of Resolve, Trump Pushes Ahead with North Korea Review.” Reuters. Reuters, 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 07 Mar. 2017. <http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-trump-analysis-idUSKBN16F08O>.