Trump Threatens North Korea, with a Pre-emptive Attack?

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North Korea threatens no one. It’s very much threatened by decades of US hostility.

Is Trump spoiling for another US Asia war, again on the Korean peninsula, pitting two nuclear-armed countries against each other?

In an interview with the Financial Times, he said he’ll discuss North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping at an April 6 and 7 summit in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” he said.

“If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone. If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

Options on dealing with Pyongyang were readied ahead of Xi’s visit, the FT explained. Trump is prepared to deal with Pyongyang unilaterally, he said, adding “I don’t have to say any more.”

He likely means more sanctions,  cyberwar, other covert actions, along with pressuring China to cut off economic aid and trade.

During his March Asia trip, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said US “strategic patience (with Pyongyang) has ended” – without further elaboration.

On ABC’s This Week yesterday, US UN envoy Nikki Haley said

“(t)he only country that can stop North Korea is China and they know that. We’re going to continue to put pressure on China to have action.”

Trump predicted a “very difficult” summit this week, notably on trade, South China Sea issues and North Korea.

“(T)he most important conversation will be how we’re going to be dealing with the nonproliferation of North Korea,” Haley ranted.

Last month, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Li expressed concern about “two accelerating trains coming towards each others with neither side willing to give way. The question is, are (they) ready for a head-on collision,” China affected if conflict erupts.

On Sunday, Reuters said Trump may “us(e) trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation against North Korea,” adding Beijing is unlikely to agree to anything destabilizing East Asia more than already.

“Although the option of pre-emptive military strikes…is not off the table…less risky” non-military measures are more likely, Reuters said.

Claims about North Korea heading toward being able to strike US cities with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles is over-the-top fear-mongering.

Whatever its current or more developed capabilities ahead, Pyongyang wants peace, not war, normalized relations, not continued US-instigated hostility.

It’s up to Washington to stop fear-mongering about a nonexistent threat. Instead, it uses the country and others to justify its imperial agenda.

War on the Korean peninsula would be disastrous, if launched. The way to “solve North Korea” is by ending decades of bullying and hostility, instead of using the country as a punching bag.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

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

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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