Trump & North Korea: What's Really Going On?

If you’ve been paying attention to President Donald Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent statements involving the impending threat of nuclear war, any optimism you’ve mustered up thus far is probably running dry.

On Tuesday, Trump confirmed he won’t hesitate to take military action, and that if he were to do so, it would be “devastating” for North Korea. We’ve had no shortage of threats like this from both President Trump and Kim Jong Un, but are these only idle threats? Should Americans really be worried about potential nuclear action from both parties?

 

 

Here’s a rundown of everything that’s gone on in the past week:

Following Trump’s speech to the United Nations, on Saturday, September 23rd North Korea responded to the President’s statements saying that it is now “inevitable” for rockets to be fired after being dubbed “Rocket Man”. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Young Ho went on to discuss the country’s readiness to strike with nuclear force.

On Tuesday, Trump countered this statement and is now said to be planning a visit to five Asian countries from November 3-14 in efforts to counteract North Korea and their possible nuclear tactics. The President will be making stops in Japan, South Korea, and China, and will likely continue putting pressure on these countries to oppose Pyongyang.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that North Korean officials are highly interested in meeting with Republican analysts to, essentially, make some sense of Trump’s statements regarding military action. Up until this point, diplomacy had appeared to be out of the question, but lack of formal negotiations thus far has only heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Former CIA analyst, Bruce Klingner, recently declined an invitation to meet with North Korean officials in Pyongyang.

It is not certain whether Trump’s outbursts (verbally or otherwise) pose a real threat to national security. Experts debate whether or not each leader’s threats are sincere or simply in response to fear of what the other might do. Regardless, the lack of formal or productive communication between the U.S. and North Korea will undoubtedly have negative effects on both countries before it does positive.