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War with North Korea?


It’s not just Syria we have to worry about.

What’s going on?

Trump tweeted today that “North Korea is looking for trouble,” and “If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.” Bizarre patriotic buzzing notwithstanding, the possible outcomes of Trump’s moves against North Korea are more bad than good.

If China assists the US, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may make concessions in exchange for humanitarian aid. Or Kim Jong-Un’s regime might pull a desperation move when feeling that their existence is threatened–this is the whole reason for their nuclear program, after all.

If China declines to work with the US, it could damage our relations with them at a time when they are already strained due to Trump’s trade war rhetoric, and we still run the risk of disastrous consequences on the Korean peninsula.

Why is it important?

South Korea remains an important strategic and economic ally to the US. Due to the way war materiel is situated along the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea, the South Korean capital of Seoul would be devastated by the outbreak of armed conflict. An untold humanitarian cost would be inflicted on both sides. Escalation is not a solution, but an invitation to disaster.

What can I do?

Prepare for the worst, really. Trump has scaled down the State Department to levels that make it unlikely to function well anytime soon. This means our diplomatic options are limited, to say the least. We may get embroiled in a war here, if Trump’s administration is not careful–and we have no reason to believe this administration knows anything about being careful.

Photo by (stephan)