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