Yesterday, NBC News reported that the U.S. had prepared for the possibility of a preemptive strike on North Korea. Today, North Korea Vice Minister Han Song Ryol called President Trump’s actions “reckless” and responded with a preemptive strike threat of its own.
“We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike,” Han said. “Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it. We are fully prepared to handle it.”
As should have been expected, when dealing with a tyrant like Kim Jong Un, rather than a proportional response, North Korea’s Leader is escalating the situation. No less frightening is Trump’s apparent inclination to do the same, which many in both America and North Korea believe has the potential to create a cycle that ends in war.
“Now we are comparing Trump’s policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) with the former administration’s and we have concluded that it’s becoming more vicious and more aggressive,” Han said. “Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words. It’s not DPRK but the U.S. and Trump that makes trouble.”
Clearly, the U.S. is not the only party making trouble here. This is, however, the first time in decades that the U.S. has been lured into this destructive game of one-upmanship with a nuclear regime. So far, thankfully, this has been a game of rhetoric, but sabres can only rattle for so long before they are either used or stowed.
Let’s hope it will be the latter. For that to be the case one of these countries’ leaders will have to exercise a degree of statesmanship that neither has shown.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com