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Trump's options on North Korea going from bad to worse

15 5 205
05.09.2017

Sanctions on North Korea have been tried, and failed. Serious negotiations seem like a pipedream. And any military strike would almost surely bring mass devastation and horrific civilian casualties.

The Trump administration's options are going from bad to worse as Kim Jong Un's military marches ever closer to being able to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons. Just as President Donald Trump seeks to show global resolve after the North's most powerful nuclear test, his leverage is limited even further by new tensions he's stoked with South Korea, plus continued opposition from China and Russia.

With South Korea, the country most directly threatened, Trump has taken the unusual step of highlighting disagreements between the U.S. and its treaty ally, including by floating the possibility he could pull out of a trade deal with South Korea to protest trade imbalances. He also suggested on Twitter the two countries lacked unanimity on North Korea, faulting new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been more conciliatory to the North, for his government's "talk of appeasement."

It's an inopportune time for grievances to be aired, and on Monday the two leaders sought to show they were confronting North Korea together — and with might. The White House said that in a phone call with Moon, Trump gave approval "in principle" to lifting restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving "many billions" in weapons sales to South Korea. Though no details were released, the idea was to show the countries were collaborating to........

© Japan Today