President-elect Donald Trump will face no foreign policy mess bigger than dealing with North Korea’s unpredictable man-child dictator Kim Jong Un. With his Chinese handlers refusing to contain the maniacal despot, Kim now claims North Korea is in the “last stage” of preparations to test-fire an inter-continental ballistic missile.
That would mean the isolated country would have the capacity to hit cities such as Seattle, San Francisco or Los Angeles in the near future. Although these threats are an ongoing situation the United States has dealt with for decades, the Trump administration will now have to deal with Kim in their own fashion. It is likely to be far different from the impassive signals that have been sent by the Obama administration.
Kim made his remarks in a New Year televised address through North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency Sunday. He said his country “will continue to strengthen its ability based on nuclear might to mount a preemptive attack.” Any such provocation could lead to WWIII beginning on the Korean Peninsula.
The North Korean tyrant has rattled the sword of nuclear attack since taking power after his father’s death in 2011. He has concentrated on developing nuclear missiles that could reach the U.S. Time after time he has refused to accept U.S. demands to freeze his arms development before the two sides can resume international disarmament talks.
Trump has made it clear he will not tolerate the ongoing North Korean threats even calling the dictator a “maniac” during his campaign. Kim is anxious that North Korea be recognized as a world nuclear power that may see the employment of intercontinental weapons by late this year. Will the Chinese step forward to end the madness?
The fanatical regime now claims the ability to mount nuclear warheads on missiles with the range to reach the U.S. as early as February. It conducted its fifth nuclear test in September. Should the Chinese remain in the background, will the Trump administration act quickly to stop the tests and in what degree of severity?
Kim said he would “gladly join hands” with anyone who seeks better relations between North Korea and South Korea. It is words he has reiterated the last five years to the dubious ears of the West. Are his threats and false signals of peace running low on credibility?
Meanwhile, South Korean politics are in turmoil during this latest crisis with their northern neighbor. It puts the United States at the very forefront of leadership in decision-making with the shaky government of Kim. Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and South Korean opposition heavyweight Moon Jae-in are neck-and-neck in presidential polls.
Although the North Koreans are well aware they are banned under UN Security Council resolutions from developing ballistic missiles and testing nuclear devices, recent financial developments may put the ban in jeopardy. Reminiscent of America cutting off rubber and oil supplies to Japan just prior to the Pearl Harbor attack and the onslaught of WWII, in November the council unanimously passed sanctions that include cutting North Korea’s coal exports.
Coal is one of the few sources of hard currency for the Kim regime after the country conducted its fifth test in September. Not unlike the Japanese in 1941, this puts the North Koreans on the identical footing to make war with neighbors close and far away.
Will the Trump administration continue to rely on diplomatic paper to secure the American people?