(ANTIMEDIA) — According to the U.K.-based Telegraph, Donald Trump’s war of words with North Korean president Kim Jong-un has the potential to spiral into a confrontation. The U.S. is reportedly drawing up plans for a “bloody nose” military attack on North Korea.
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According to the Telegraph, the aim of the strike would be to contain the North’s nuclear weapons. This is in light of the fact that the U.S. has had multiple opportunities to contain North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs diplomatically but has opted for hostile aggression, instead.
The Telegraph reports that the White House has “dramatically” stepped up its preparation for a military solution to the North Korean standoff, receiving inside information from three “well-placed sources” — two former U.S. officials and a third figure from within the Trump administration.
One of the options entails the U.S. destroying a launch site before North Korea can conduct another missile test. It would specifically target a stockpile of weapons.
“The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious,” a former U.S. security official briefed on policy told the Telegraph.
Not surprisingly, the Telegraph’s report said the Trump administration had Donald Trump’s Syria strike in April in mind as a blueprint for action against North Korea. In that context, the move would not be designed to contain or deter North Korea (such an April-inspired limited strike would achieve nothing) — it would most likely be aimed at America’s domestic population and the international community.
Whether the media will admit it or not, Trump’s Syria strike was a complete farce. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, only 23 of the 59 missiles launched actually hit the Syrian airbase in what Russia dubbed an inefficient strike. In fact, barely a day later, the airbase was back in action, deploying warplanes to bomb rebel positions in the Homs countryside.
Further, the U.S. actually gave Russia, Syria’s staunchest backer, prior notice of the strike well before it was launched. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement that the so-called “deconfliction” channel set up by Russia and the U.S. in Syria was used to disclose the strike to the Russian side. It is inconceivable that Russia would not have passed this warning on to Syria considering Russian personnel are on the ground there.
All Trump’s April strike did was boost his ratings and improve his standing in the media for a tiny period of time, as well as boost stock in Raytheon, the manufacturer of the Tomahawk missiles used in the attack. The purpose of the strike could not have been to deter Syria from carrying out chemical weapons attacks considering Trump ordered it before he could have possibly received any credible intelligence linking the Syrian government to the infamous chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun.
A strike against North Korea aimed at doing damage to the country’s military without prior warning will not be received well by a hostile country that has demonstrated it has U.S. personnel well within its strike range. As Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, wrote on Twitter, “Mobile missiles don’t need launch sites, Donald.” Putting this statement in context, Business Insider explained that North Korea has varied its launch sites, making it harder for the U.S. to track and intercept missiles.
Missing from any decent media coverage of this discussion is the little-known fact that in October of this year, it was reported that China was practicing bombing Guam, a U.S. territory. There is only one inference to be drawn from this conduct — China was sending a direct warning to the U.S. that its personnel will not be immune should a war emerge on the Korean peninsula.
No one is disputing that the U.S. could cause some serious damage to the infrastructure of North Korea, but as Business Insider eerily noted:
“The US knows what capabilities it has to counter North Korea, but not how North Korea would respond…The bloody-nose scenario comes down to a gamble on whether North Korea is ready to enter all-out war over a limited strike.” [emphasis added]
Rather than take the gamble, the U.S. could consider a more productive diplomatic option to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program instead, one that would not result in a nuclear crisis.