US officials are expressing outrage at North Korea’s Tuesday morning missile test, in which an intermediate-range ballistic was fired over Japan, looking for further escalation of the ongoing tensions with the North Korean government.
This included calls from Nikki Haley for Russia and China to accept new UN measures against North Korea, and President Trump claiming the test proves North Korea doesn’t respect its neighbors, while adding that “all options are on the table.”
All options on the table is a none-too-subtle bit of US official language that threatens military attacks, To that end, South Korea has carried out a simulated strike meant to replicate wiping out the whole North Korean leadership. This was followed with a statement from the South Korean defense ministry threatening to exterminate North Korea if they pose a threat.
These sorts of ongoing threats are, according to North Korea, why they’ve been conducting the tests in the first place. That such tests provoke more threats, and those threats provoke more tests, underscore why this row has been ongoing for decades with little to show for it.
The success of the latest test shows North Korea is developing a fairly advanced retaliatory capability, however, and while US officials clearly aren’t stopping the war of words yet, they may need to start thinking of a way to actually deescalate the situation, before a war results. That war, all analysts agree, would be a disaster for everyone involved.
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