Donald Trump’s constituency and his militaristic posturing all suggest he may want to undertake some military action against Pyongyang, which is going to make matters a lot worse, says Sreeram Chaulia from the Jindal School of International Affairs.
North Korea claims it had tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday morning, according to reports it fell into the Sea of Japan, after flying around 535 kilometers.
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, revised that report, stating that North Korea had launched an intermediate range missile, which “did not pose a threat to the Russian Federation.”
Japan filed a protest, saying the launch breaches UN resolutions.
RT: A couple of days ago Donald Trump said again that he sees North Korean missile tests as a threat. What might be Trump’s response to this latest test?
Sreeram Chaulia: Trump appears to be at his wit’s end. On the one hand, he has threatened military action against North Korea as a kind of preemption. On the other hand, he has tried to use China to apply pressure on North Korea to refrain from more missile tests and nuclear weapons tests. I think North Korea is undeterred because it believes there is a moral hazard issue here, where China no matter how provocative North Korea becomes, at the end of the day has to support North Korea, because it believes it is essential for strategic balance in Asia against American encroachment. Kim Jong-un is in a way also challenging China by saying: “Listen, if you go over to the American side and apply pressure on me that is not going to work either.”
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