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USA Vs North Korea: which will blink first?

USA Vs North Korea: which will blink first?

The world, except the many Australians embroiled in gay marriage, is watching as developments deepen in what could become catastrophic. Kim Jong un and Donald Trump are about to face off and both can’t win. Also complicating matters are the unknown intentions of South Korea, Russia, China and Japan. Australia will wave the rainbow flag and all will be well.

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump refused to back down on Thursday from his provocative threat to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea if it endangers the United States, despite bipartisan criticism — and he argued that perhaps he was not harsh enough.

Trump Toughens Warning on North Korea, Despite Bipartisan Criticism

Al Drago for The New York Times

“Frankly the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” he told reporters. “They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, many years. It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”

Mr. Trump spoke at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending much of the month on a working vacation. He was meeting on Thursday with Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser, and other aides even as tension with North Korea continued to crackle with nuclear-edged bombast. While his advisers have tried to modulate his original comment, made on Tuesday in response to North Korean threats, Mr. Trump suggested he had no reason to back off.

“We’re backed by 100 percent by our military,” he said. “And we’re backed by many other leaders.”

Asked what would be tougher than fire and fury, Mr. Trump said, “Well, you’ll see, you’ll see.”

But he declined to explicitly say he was considering a pre-emptive military strike.

“We don’t talk about that,” he said. “I never do.” He added, “But I can tell you that what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy. And it can’t be allowed.”

Mr. Trump’s war of words has reached a level that has alarmed allies in the region.

North Korea has reacted with threats of its own, warning that it might launch a missile strike toward the Pacific island of Guam, which is United States territory, as early as this month, and adding that it was capable of starting a nuclear war that might reach the continental United States. North Korea recently tested intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time and has been reported to be making progress toward equipping them with nuclear warheads.

For all the bellicose words, Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he was open to negotiations, as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson urged North Korea to engage in talks. But the president expressed skepticism that they would lead to a reasonable outcome, given the experiences of his predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, none of whom were able to resolve the issue through negotiations.

“Sure, we’ll always consider negotiations,” Mr. Trump said. “They’ve been negotiating now for 25 years. Look at Clinton. He folded on the negotiations. He was weak and ineffective. You look what happened with Bush, you look what happened with Obama. Obama, he didn’t even want to talk about it. But I talk. It’s about time. Somebody has to do it. Somebody has to do it.”

Mr. Trump’s comments defied critics at home and abroad who have said his choice of words was needlessly bombastic and potentially reckless. While his predecessors also took a firm stance on preventing North Korea from developing a nuclear arsenal that could threaten the United States, they steered away from the sort of apocalyptic language evoking a possible nuclear war.

“These statements are irresponsible and dangerous, and also senselessly provide a boon to domestic North Korean propaganda which has long sought to portray the United States as a threat to their people,” more than 60 House Democrats said in a letter on Thursday addressed to Mr. Tillerson, asking him to restrain the president.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who has visited North Korea three times as a private citizen, added his voice to the criticism.

“In addition to restraining the warlike rhetoric, our leaders need to encourage talks between North Korea and other countries, especially China and Russia,” he said in a statement. “The recent U.N. Security Council unanimous vote for new sanctions suggests that these countries could help. In all cases, a nuclear exchange must be avoided. All parties must assure North Koreans they we will forego any military action against them if North Korea remains peaceful.”

Mr. Trump has tried to convince China to do more to pressure North Korea to curb its weapons development, only to be disappointed that Beijing has not followed through as strongly as he would like. Many analysts have suggested that his fire-and-fury language was meant as a signal to China as much as North Korea, making the point that the Chinese need to step up to avoid a conflagration in its own region.

In his comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Trump again suggested he would make a bargain with China by backing down from his planned trade war if Beijing does more to resolve the North Korea impasse.

“I think China can do a lot more, yes, China can,” he said. “And I think China will do a lot more. Look, we have trade with China. We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It’s not going to continue like that. But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade.”

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 11/08/2017, 6:51 am

    Just get on with it, it is bloody cold sitting outside in my deck chair, sinking a few tubes whilst waiting for the fireworks show to begin on the north west horizon.

  • Bushranger71 11/08/2017, 7:07 am

    The Americans are being a bit thick berating China.

    The reality is the US is still technically at war with both China and North Korea as there is only an extant armistice in the Korean War.

    • Aktosplatz 11/08/2017, 8:31 am

      That’s right Bushranger, officially, the Korean War of 1950 -1953 is still on.

  • Jack Richards 11/08/2017, 7:30 am

    I wonder if China is using North Korean belligerency to win concessions from the USA? And to test Trump’s resolve given the issues surrounding Chinese bases in the South China Sea? Maybe they think that if Trump backs down from a confrontation with the Korean madman, he’ll also back down over the Spratley islands and others and leave the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam et al in the lurch and under Chinese hegemony? They’ve done it before, on Stalin’s agreement and on Mao’s urging, back in 1950. Stalin wanted to see if America really would fight for South Korea while using the Chinese to do the fighting on his behalf. Mao wanted to fight so he could squeeze big foreign aid out of the Soviet Union including them building nuclear reactors so that he could acquire the atomic bomb.

    All very complex. But one thing is for sure: if North Korea launch an attack on Guam or any other US territory or possession, they’ll cease to exist 30 minutes later.

    • TommyGun 11/08/2017, 6:17 pm

      Yep. One glass factory comin’ riiiiiiiiight UP!

  • Bill 11/08/2017, 8:10 am

    Jack, we have to hope that, with Donald Trump at the helm (and not, thank God, Barak Obama), the DPRK leadership know that.

  • Lorraine 11/08/2017, 8:40 am

    in photo’s of he little fat man and his Army of Generals and Troops, none are of women. where are all the women, they must be there as the men are born. While Australia as MM correctly puts it whine and wring hands over the Gays the USA and the rest of the world sees a fearsome future. oh well back to the conversation again. SSM GW & R

    • DB8tr 11/08/2017, 9:53 am

      Lorraine…yes and dont forget the new ‘news’ is that our Army is favouring taking women – or at least deliberately choosing women. This is what we need right now. A war may come about, but the most important thing is more LGBTQIWTF’ers in the army, lots of third toilets, hormone therapy and tax paid neutering and of course more females. That should reeeeeeallly help…

    • Joe Blogs 11/08/2017, 10:10 am

      One more bad haircut day for Kim Nong-un-hinged and it’ll be whiz, bang, poof!

  • Aktosplatz 11/08/2017, 8:43 am

    Trump is a Businessman – and traditionally, the USA have always boosted their economy by going to war.

    Makes you think, really.

  • Margaret 11/08/2017, 9:26 am

    Trump would be failing in his duty as President if he did not protect his citizens from a nuclear attack from North Korea. Kim Jong un has explicitly stated that he intends to attack the USA.

    Only the Chamberlains of this world would continue to do what Obama did… appease, appease, appease.

    • Neville 11/08/2017, 7:24 pm

      Yes, if Trump did NOT defend the USA, it would be pretty much instant impeachment. Oath of Office, and all that ..

  • DB8tr 11/08/2017, 10:00 am

    Here’s an idea – lets get a FB ‘going viral’ defence happening where the whole (Western) world hold hands and sing kumbaya or ‘give peace a chance’ and wear vagina hats on a certain day. I reckon Kim Fat Un will see that (while he’s watching his daily porn) as he’s the only one with internet in the whole country and will straight away relent from his nuclear plans.

  • Graham 11/08/2017, 11:09 am

    Trump needs to and should squash this little cretin because in a few years time the same thing will be happening in Iran. The US needs to put the little fat man back in his box to demonstrate what the Iranians can expect. I’m not advocating war but for Trump to back down would be a disaster. Remember that Iran an NK share nuclear technology.

    Oh, and thanks a bunch Obumma. This is your real legacy.

    • Neville 11/08/2017, 7:27 pm

      True, Graham. And also recall the bombing of the Syrian air force – THAT happened when Trump left the dinner table to verify and order the bombing; with the Chines minister waiting at the table. Pundits speculated back the that this manoeuvre was to send a message to Iran!

  • The Jeweller 11/08/2017, 7:22 pm

    Speak softly. But carry a big stick.

  • Aktosplatz 11/08/2017, 8:07 pm

    Because of what’s happening, I downloaded a couple of YouTube videos of the 1950s Korean War.

    Very bloody, lots of casualties.

    Scary thing was the sudden participation of China without warning and in vast manpower quantities, just north of Seoul, caught everyone by surprise.

    China is the Currently Docile Giant here. Everything depends on their approach.

    In a sense if the Blob does attack US Territory first, it should be easier to take him out through retaliation, but it will be very delicate.

    In the meantime, Trumble should STFU and stop talking about ‘War’ so publicly.

    This situation is way out of the league of Trumble and the Stick Insect, they should stick with the AGW Scam and SSM, perhaps a few more betrayals and back-stabbings, that’s about their limit.

    There must be better more clandestine ways to remove the Blob.

    As Churchill said ‘Jaw-Jaw, not War-War’.

    • Joe Blogs 12/08/2017, 2:09 pm

      The first two nuclear weapons deployed were called, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. The third might be called, “The Blob”.

  • Bushranger 71 12/08/2017, 7:15 am

    Good sense As!

  • Cliff 12/08/2017, 7:18 am

    I’m sure Melvin’s assurances that Australia, with its massive military capabilities, will be at his side will tip the balance in The Donald’s decision on whether to go to war or to ‘do an Obama’. If the Americans need to be seen to be resisting (definitely not ‘attacking’) the North Koreans with a force correctly balanced with the correct (I dare not use the word ‘right’) proportions of races, genders and sexual proclivities, the Australian military might be what you would term ‘the shock troops’ f any such force.

  • luk1955 12/08/2017, 9:40 am

    This is proof that the neocon agenda of a world war is still alive and highly kicking. Trump would be advised to listen to his “defence” secretary Mattis who says any war would be catastrophic. And NK has no real weapons of any type. They don’t have the technology or capital to field any nuclear capability and this is all a show to get the neocons their long awaited war with China or Russia or both. To think NK can hit us is idiocy. Why would they bother with a nation of poofs and dikes who are more interested in marrying themselves out of the human race? Obama’s henchmen are still in charge at the pentagon. Fortunately my age precludes being forced to commit war crimes, and my sons won’t be doing any fighting for multinational companies even if the politicians send ALL their children and grandchildren off to die for their profits and control of the population via martial law. There is more to this NK agenda than meets the eye. Beware, folks. Our governments want us to submit totally to their dictatorial dictates.

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