Calling Trump’s policy in the Korean Peninsula “reckless,” North Korea blamed the U.S. for the current provocations that pushed both countries to the precipice of war. Speaking to the Associated Press, North Korean Vice Minister Ham Song-ryol said the Trump administration was “more vicious and more aggressive” than former President Barack Obama. Ryol promised North Korea will continue building its nuclear arsenal in terms of “quality and quantity,” insisting Pyongyang was ready to go to war with the United States. North Korean likes to call the U.S. aggressive when it’s not the U.S. threatening nuclear war. “Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” said the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
Threatening a nuclear attack against the U.S., Song-ryol points fingers at Trump for saying that the U.S., with or without China’s help, would deal with the North Korean nuclear threat. Pentagon officials estimate that North Korean has about 10 crude nuclear weapons with enough military grade plutonium from its Yongbyon heavy water reactor for 100 more nukes. Song-ryol’s right that the Obama administration did little to deal with the growing North Korea nuclear threat. Obama was reluctant to use the U.S. military directly, preferring instead to pour cash-and-arms into proxy wars, like the over six-year-old Saudi-funded proxy war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hitting Syrian airfield April 7 with 59 Cruise missiles, sending a loud message to Pyongyang that Trump has the Korean Capital in the cross-hairs. Unlike Obama, Trump’s proven he’s prepared to use the military protect U.S. national security.
Threatening the U.S. with nuclear attacks, North Korea doesn’t get that it’s well within Trump’s right to defend U.S. national security. Former President George W. Bush once called Iraq, Iran and North Korea the “axis of evil” March 1, 2002 in the State of the Union speech, only a year before attacking Iraq March 20, 2003. North Korea’s been very busy since then, working feverishly with Pakistan to develop weapons grade plutonium. While no one knows when North Korea will have an intercontinental ballistic missile to hit the U.S., Trump’s not about to let things slide like Bush and Obama. Time’s ticking on North Korea’s stated intention to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuke. Pyongyang’s intermediate-range missiles are capable today of hitting Seoul and Tokyo, though it’s debatable whether or not they have the technology to fit a nuke into a warhead.
Asked whether or not North Korea was readying a new nuclear test, Song-ryol said “that is something that our headquarters decides.” Celebrating North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung’s 105th birthday tomorrow, no one knows whether or not Kim will detonate a new nuke. When Kim detonated his last nuke Sept. 10, 2016, he claimed it was a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear device, far more powerful that previous tests. “Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” said Song-ryol, blaming the current tensions on the U.S. Trump said Kim Jong-un is “looking for trouble,” referring to recent statements threatening nuclear strikes against the U.S. “It’s not the DPRK [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea] but the U.S and Trump that makes trouble,” insisted Song-ryol. North Korea won’t acknowledge that it can’t threaten nuclear war without consequences.
When Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Trump April 7 his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Palm Beach, Xi promised to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear threats. Trump said it would be great if China helped out, but, if not, the U.S. would solve its own problems. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all sides to show more flexibility to avoid war. “Once a war happens, the result will be nothing but multiple-loss. No one can become a winner,” assuming that the U.S. could not neutralize Kim Jong-un’s nuclear capability. No U.S. president can ignore nuclear threats made by any sovereign nation, whether or not there are risks of war. Working feverishly on intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, Trump has no choice but to fashion a plan to neutralize the North Korean threat. China wants to play neutral but must acknowledge North Korea’s nuclear threats.
Steaming toward the Korean Peninsula, the Carl Vinson carrier strike group sends a loud message to North Korea to stand down. If Kim fires on U.S. assets, Trump will have no choice but to hit hard, taking out North Korea’s nuclear sites and conventional weapons stockpiles. “We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike,” said Song-ryol. Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it. We are fully prepared to handle it,” knowing full well the U.S. military could devastate Pyongyang’s command-and-control centers and much of North Korea’s infrastructure. When Song-ryol says Trump’s more aggressive than Obama, he’s right. Trump won’t allow the U.S. to be cowed by North Korea’s nuclear threats. If Kim wants to defuse the tensions, he needs to stop threatening the U.S. with nuclear war.