North Korea has indicated that they will soon be hosting a “big event,” which U.S. officials believe to be a nuclear weapons test. American officials have declared that, should Pyongyang ultimately execute this nuclear test, the United States will launch a preemptive strike on North Korea.
Per NBC News:
The intelligence officials told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site.
American heavy bombers are also positioned in Guam to attack North Korea should it be necessary, and earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being diverted to the area.
North Korea has a history of taking an aggressive stance with the United States, which is often tempered by American de-escalation efforts. However, the Trump administration has been quick to match Pyongyang’s bombastic rhetoric, leading to a sudden and dangerous escalation in the region.
Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told NBC News:
“The leadership in North Korea has shown absolutely no sign or interest in diplomacy or dialogue with any of the countries involved in this issue… By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the US is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war.”
These revelations come on the heels of the United States deploying the “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, as well as 59 Tomahawk missiles onto a Syrian airbase. Trump has previously signaled that he is willing to forego a better trade deal with the Chinese in exchange for China’s diffusion of the North Korean situation. However, his latest tweet shows that his prior position is flexible:
I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2017
As the Trump administration continues to use military intervention as its primary diplomatic tool, the United States is increasingly isolating itself from the international community. With more countries capable and prepared to use force against the United States than ever before, this is not the time for Trump to pound his chest.