The North Korea standoff will get worse: Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are trapped in a vicious cycle

November 30, 2017
Joshua Pollack

The following is an excerpt from NY Daily News

In the dark of night Wednesday, North Korea launched its latest mobile missile, a humongous intercontinental-range weapon capable of reaching any part of the 50 United States.

The flight of the new Hwasong-15 ICBM comes less than three months after North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test. According to an official statement, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.”

Does any silver lining lurk in this verbal mushroom cloud? Does “completion” mean that North Korea can stop testing nuclear devices and long-range missiles? Is Pyongyang now ready to return to the bargaining table?

That’s certainly been the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C.

But don’t stay up too late waiting for a big diplomatic breakthrough. Kim’s probably not done — not by a long stretch. And part of the reason is that he seems to have found the perfect foil in this American President, who speaks loudly, spitting invective at Kim with regular frequency, and carries a stick of yet-to-be-determined size.

In his unprecedented personal response to President Trump’s threats and insults at the United Nations in September, Kim said, “we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.” His foreign minister was quick to add that this might involve testing a nuclear weapon in the open air above the Pacific Ocean.

An atmospheric nuclear test would be a huge step backward. Since the early 1960s, almost all tests worldwide have taken place underground — since 1980, all of them. Worse, the North Koreans have intimated that they plan to launch the warhead on a missile before detonating it in the atmosphere, something not done since 1966.

Read the full article at NY Daily News

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