Threats: In­com­ing

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - GLOBE FOCUS -

Re Trump Re­it­er­ates Warn­ings To Kim (Aug. 11): With Don­ald Trump’s Amer­ica in re­treat in­ter­na­tion­ally, China’s global in­flu­ence is on the rise. Bei­jing likely hopes for two full terms of Mr. Trump. Could it be that North Korea, China’s ally, is try­ing to en­gen­der a bel­li­cose re­sponse from the rarely re­strained Mr. Trump? If the per­ceived risk of hos­til­i­ties es­ca­lates, Amer­i­can pub­lic opinion will rally around the Pres­i­dent, de­flect­ing from mat­ters that might other­wise threaten a Trump pres­i­dency. – Eric LeGres­ley, Ot­tawa

Don­ald Trump’s boasts of pos­si­ble at­tacks on North Korea “like the world has never seen” have pro­duced much anal­y­sis about red lines, game the­ory, and the need for the U.S. to is­sue only threats which are re­ally cred­i­ble. Dis­cus­sions have also in­cluded anal­y­sis of the im­pli­ca­tions for the peo­ple of South Korea, Ja­pan and Guam, should North Korea re­spond in kind. Then there’s what U.S. ac­tion would mean for the 25 mil­lion North Kore­ans; in­cred­i­bly, the use by the U.S. of nu­clear weapons as a first­strike strat­egy is be­ing se­ri­ously dis­cussed.

The best es­ti­mate that I’ve seen of the ef­fect of a one-mega­ton nu­clear bomb ex­ploded over a city is that about one-third of the pop­u­la­tion would be killed in­stantly, and a fur­ther third would be se­ri­ously in­jured. For Py­ongyang, pop­u­la­tion 2.5 mil­lion, that’s about 1.6 mil­lion dead and in­jured.

North Korea is sim­ply em­u­lat­ing the U.S, U.K., France, China, Rus­sia, In­dia, Pak­istan and Is­rael. Each says (in the case of Is­rael, whis­pers ) that it’s es­sen­tial to its se­cu­rity to pos­sess nu­clear weapons with which to threaten its en­e­mies. North Korea is en­ti­tled to ask why it should be treated dif­fer­ently. – Bill Sin­gle­ton, Ot­tawa

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