Two solid weeks of reports that a nuclear war is imminent on the Korean Peninsula haven’t led to much of anything, and experts seem to agree that other than having another week or two of threats and maybe a missile test, it’s not really going to lead to anything.
It’s a fact not lost on Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who says that he doesn’t see anything that suggests this is any different from the “long pattern” of similar rows with North Korea.
Indeed, this is a yearly thing, with the US-South Korea joint drills setting the stage for North Korean threats, retaliatory threats and escalating tensions until either the drill ends or China gets sick of the nonsense and calms everybody down.
South Koreans are used to this, as are the people of the US territory of Guam, both of which are taking the threat of nuclear annihilation in stride, noting that they’ve heard all of this before, and people in Guam welcoming the international attention as an opportunity to upgrade its profile on the global stage.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons, of course, are entirely speculative, as they have the conducted some underground tests but there is zero evidence they have any deliverable warheads. Likewise, their missiles are of dubious quality beyond the shortest of ranges, and all the talk of attacking the US mainland, experts agree, is simply nonsense.
All the two weeks of back and forth threats has to show for itself, realistically, is that the US has moved military hardware to the region at great expense and committed to a dramatic increase in missile defense spending against missiles that just aren’t coming.