War of words around North Korea erupts again. With no solution in sight


Well, who could have guessed it! North Korea conducts another missile test – read Scoop’s ‘NK successfully launches second ICBM’ – and the war of words erupts, with the international community calling on the regime in Pyongyang to quit stirring trouble and the US warning that “the time for talking is over” and that “all options are on the table”.

In case you are a keen North Korea watcher, the first quote comes from the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Hayley and the second one from US Vice President Michael Pence, who was on a visit to Estonia and found the time in his busy schedule to respond to the latest escalation on the Korean Peninsula.

US President Donald Trump expressed his frustration with Beijing over its inability to restrain North Korea, pointing out on Twitter that “China could easily solve this problem!” Lots of other politicians said lots of other things on the subject but, just like before, no one really knows what to do.

Meanwhile, North Korean top dog Kim Jong-Un and his generals are using another opportunity to tell their people that the West is trembling with fear at the might of DPKR and that American imperialism will have to accept another nuclear player on the world stage. In terms of communist public relations, this is obviously the ultimate in boosting the patriotic feelings of the proud nation. In case you’re interested, the populace of DPRK is over 25 million and, according to all the state North Korean media outlets, the support for what Kim and his generals are up to is around 101 per cent mark. (Don’t ask, in a communist state they measure popular support in strange ways.)

After the latest North Korean missile test the customary response followed, with the joint missile launches by the South Korean and US armed forces, in the direction of the open sea, and two B1 US supersonic bombers flying in a low pass over South Korea, in a show of added military muscle.

Sources in Washington are telling Scoop that the feeling among some members of the Trump Administration is that it is time to seriously think of a military option, in the face of the possibility that North Korea may soon be able to arm its ICBMs with nuclear warheads that could reach the territory of the US. It is a worrying prospect but the good news, from the same sources, is that the US Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is not at all keen on the idea and thinks that this could result in tragedy of a huge scale. Which begs the question who is actually the madder of the lot in Washington?

Scoop had reported earlier that during the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinse leader Xi Jinping in Moscow, two days before the recent G20 summit in Germany, the two men had discussed the crisis around North Korea. They instructed their officials to moot around the idea of a military de-escalation of the Korean Peninsula by scaling down the joint military US and South Korean drills, a move that could make possible putting pressure on Pyongyang to limit its nuclear ambitions. Up to know, though, Western countries have not responded to that initiative. Which is a shame.

The problem with the Korean Peninsula is that South Korea basically has a guarantor of its security in the form of the formidable US military presence there, while North Korea is left to stand up against that mighty joint force on its own. And it’s obvious that such a situation creates tensions that escalate now and then. The only way out of it would be for the UN Security Council to ask China, or China and Russia together, to become North Korea’s guarantors of its security, with a possible military presence there, that would open the door for serious talks about dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. But as thing stand now, such talks are impossible.

And if the current stand-off continues in the same way as it is happening now there is always a chance that a war of words at some point may turn into a hot war.