Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He Has No Plan, But Could He Tweet Us Into Nuclear War?, CONt.

"North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan on Monday night marked a significant escalation in its recent spate of missile and nuclear tests. Over the last year, Kim Jong Un has conducted a continued march of these tests. Unlike his father and grandfather, who used such tests both to advance the country’s program and as provocations aimed at an external audience, Kim has largely eschewed the provocation-cycle pattern and focused instead on an unrelenting march to secure nuclear weapons and the capability to deliver them.

But this launch was different.

Launching a ballistic missile over Japan is a serious provocation, and while the test would have helped North Korea gather important technical data about the missile and its reentry vehicle, it also was clearly intended to send a signal. Kim’s move was aimed at shaking the confidence of our allies. The test comes as the United States and South Korea are in the middle of annual joint exercises, and while the United States and Japan were conducting missile defense drills. Warnings of a potential inbound missile sounded across parts of northern Japan and were replayed by Japanese media across the country. By taking such a provocative step, Kim knew he would rattle nerves in Japan and South Korea, possibly prompting questions about whether the United States would be able to defend its allies should they come under attack.

Kim’s move was also intended to send a signal to Washington. It comes after President Trump had proudly crowed that Kim was 'starting to respect us' following their hot war of words this month. Kim was surely listening — and he decided to take Trump up on the challenge. Late Tuesday, North Korean media reported that Kim was at the launch and that it was 'a meaningful prelude to containing Guam.'

The situation with North Korea, in other words, got worse just after Trump declared it was getting better. That’s not an accident. So far, the Trump administration has been unable to execute a clear strategy for dealing with Kim — which is why the messaging and actions from the White House, State Department and Pentagon have been so uncoordinated and ineffective."

Read the Washington Post, President Trump is making the North Korea crisis worse.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: He Has No Plan, But Could He Tweet Us Into Nuclear War?, and

Trump's Big CON: Is Trump Crazy, North Korea Edition, CONt.