Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have been playing a high stakes poker game for some time, using world peace as a bargaining chip.
A few days ago, the US President said that North Korea would be met with ‘fire and fury like the world has even seen’, if the Pyongyang regime threatened US soil.
In response to such inflammatory comments, North Korea retorted that it is planning to launch an attack on the Pacific island of Guam, which is both a popular tourist destination and home to Andersen Air Base. The 36th Wing is housed there, providing mission support duties to a large number of civilian and military aircraft. Crucially, a significant portion of the US’ long-range capability (six B-1B bomber aircraft) are based at Andersen.
Trump, incensed at such low blow, today said that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, will ‘truly regret’ any action it takes against Guam.
Against such warmongering background, China stepped up and said that, should military conflict actually break out, the country will remain neutral if North Korea strikes first. However, if the US and/or South Korea are the ones to start the conflict, China will intervene militarily to defend the current socio-political landscape in the region.
Far from shying away from provocative rhetoric, Trump resorted to Twitter to say “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
The standoff carries dark and ominous undertones not seen since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and the escalation of the Cold War after the Able Archer European wargames of 1983.
North Korea is profoundly resentful of the latest raft of sanctions set against the country, over its ongoing testing of missiles, and both it and the US remain locked in a high-risk game of nuclear intentions, after US intelligence sources claimed that North Korea had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to fit into a missile that could theoretically reach US soil.
Still, despite the highly charged rhetoric, there has been no discernible change in the state of readiness of US military assets, so the next steps remain unclear.