The Chinese government has warned North Korea against any “further escalation” today after one of the nation’s top generals claimed to have canceled the ceasefire with South Korea and the United States and claimed nuclear weapons are “on standby.”
North Korean officials have repeatedly claimed they are considering a “preemptive nuclear attack” against the United States in retaliation for UN sanctions, but there is no evidence that they have yet succeeded in transforming their successful nuclear detonations into a small enough size to be put on a warhead in the first place, let alone that they have missiles capable of reaching the US.
Such bellicose rhetoric is all-too-common on the Korean Peninsula, and indeed the North Korean military has announced the end of the now 60-year long ceasefire multiple times in the past several years, only for the tensions to quiet down shortly thereafter.
The US has announced its intentions to impose more and more sanctions on North Korea, but the reality is that such sanctions have been in place for over half a century to such a degree that the US has little to no ties with the reclusive nation. Rather it is China, North Korea’s largest and materially only trading partner, that usually has to play the role of mediator during these dust-ups, and always manages to calm the situation in relatively short order.
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