Just one more
As diplomats work behind the scenes to prevent Washington’s confrontation with Pyongyang escalating into a full scale conflict, President Trump has continued to post a series of inflammatory online remarks – including one where he described America’s deadly arsenal of nuclear weapons as being “locked and loaded”.
However, Professor Scott Lucas, an expert in international politics at the University of Birmingham, warned efforts to “rein in the president”, including hiring new White House chief of staff John Kelly, could prove fruitless as the Twitter tirade continues.
The social media posts included a tweet on Friday morning which read: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Professor Lucas said: “The line was that John Kelly, who is a retired four-star general, would finally rein Trump in, but there is no way that, when this man can put himself in a locked room and watch morning US TV, you can stop him wreaking havoc on social media.
“The question now is, after Trump escalated the situation with his words this week, will the adults take control when it comes to action?”
He added that President Trump was “much more restrained” during a press conference on Friday afternoon, just hours after the “locked and loaded” tweet, but the bold statements continued, including one insisting that the leader of North Korea will “regret it fast” if he “utters one threat” against American territory or allies.
Chinese President Xi Jinping appealed to both sides for calm amid fears the worsening war of words between North RECENT intelligence shows North Korea may be close to building ballistic missiles capable of reaching Washington, New York and London, with miniaturised nuclear warheads fitted to them.
That is not the only reason the threat from North Korea endangers the UK as well as the US and its allies in the region.
Iran and North Korea have been colluding for years and we must assume any future technological advances will be shared.
And Iran may not be alone among rogue states seeking help from Pyongyang.
If North Korea continues to get away with its illegal weapons development, Iran will be emboldened in its own nuclear intentions, as will other Middle Eastern states with similar aspirations.
Nuclear proliferation is the greatest threat to the world.
The war of words between Kim Jong Un and Trump is escalating.
No 10 has sent strong signals that it will not stand behind its American ally in the event of conflict with North Korea.
This is a grave mistake. Not because the US needs us – it could destroy the North Korean regime and its nuclear capability single-handedly.
But it is essential that war is avoided.
The key is military deterrence.
Deterring North Korea from continuing down its path is now the only effective option, diplomacy and economic sanctions having failed consistently for the last 25 years.
The greater the international support, the more effective the deterrence.
Even more importantly, a message of allied military resolve needs to reach China. Beijing keeps North Korea afloat, paying lipservice to sanctions while maintaining a network of companies and banks conducting illicit
The last thing China wants is US military action against North Korea on its own doorstep. Taking steps themselves to dislodge Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship would be preferable – but they will need to be pressured to do so.
The British Government is understandably worried that standing by the US now will damage its trade relations with China – which will become even more important post Brexit.
As so often in international relations, there are no good choices.