Saturday, April 08, 2017

Is North Korea Trump's Next Target?

Is North Korea Trump’s Next Target?

by Stephen Lendman

Since US war on North Korea ended with an uneasy 1953 armistice, Washington used the country for fear-mongering, rather than launching more aggression to topple its government.

Does Trump intend changing longstanding policy - falsely calling Pyongyang a threat to US national security? 

It’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs are for defense, not offense, justifiably fearing US war, hoping its powerful weapons will deter it. 

Truman’s aggression turned much of the country to rubble, killing millions, mostly civilians. Pyongyang and Beijing want no repeat. Their leaders and top officials are pragmatic, not reckless belligerents. 

Post-WW II, neither country attacked another - unlike America, waging endless wars of choice, aggressive ones. It’s just a matter of time before a US administration uses nuclear weapons - perhaps against Russia, China, North Korea or all three nations. 

On Thursday, Secretary of State Tillerson said he hopes “China will find ways to exercise influence over North Korea’s actions to dismantle their nuclear weapons and their missile technology programs.” 

“Whether it’s using their authority on the UN Security Council or utilizing new levers of power, China can be part of a new strategy to end North Korea’s reckless behavior and ensure security, stability, and economic prosperity in Northeast Asia.”

Ahead of his summit with Chinese President Xi, Trump said if Beijing “is not going to solve North Korea, we will” unilaterally.

NBC News said Trump’s National Security Council “presented (him) with options to respond to North Korea's nuclear program -  including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-un, multiple (unnamed) top-ranking intelligence and military officials told” the news network. 

Diplomacy isn’t considered, belligerence Washington’s option of choice. Instead of resolving geopolitical issues, neocons making and influencing US policy opt for making things worse.

Ahead of the Xi/Trump summit, Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned “(i)f a war were to erupt on the Korean Peninsula, no matter who preemptively strikes first, the responsibility shall be with the United States, which stringently adopted anti-North Korea policies and deployed nuclear strategic assets and special operations forces (in South Korea).”

Talks between Xi and Trump produced no breakthroughs. Still, both leaders established rapport. According to Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center director Paul Haenle, the summit wasn’t “heavy on substance.”

“It was mostly about providing a more relaxed setting for the leaders to get to know each other, and to understand each other’s issues.”

Fudan University Center for American Studies director Wu Xinbo said both countries “achieved an initial consensus on a stable transition of relations.”

At the same time, Trump’s Friday aggression on Syria showed his possible willingness to act aggressively against North Korea - something China strongly opposes.

Both nations are divided on dealing with Pyongyang. Tillerson said “no kind of a package arrangement to resolve” differences was achieved, adding Washington is prepared to act alone.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his government supports denuclearizing the Korean peninsula - short of war, more sanctions or other hostile acts to achieve it.

Trump so far showed he opts for militarism and belligerence over diplomacy in furthering America’s geopolitical agenda.

Escalated war on Syria looks likely. Will North Korea be his next target?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.