Tensions continue to rise between the US and North Korea, with continued concern that the US could well launch an attack that would start a war at any moment. US officials aren’t doing anything to dispel this concern, either, insisting they too believe the situation is “coming to a head.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster insisted the US wants to take action “short of armed conflict,” if at all possible, but also emphasized the series of different options being considered, while others talked of considering “diplomatic, economic, and military” options.
The Trump Administration seems keen to emphasize that they’re working with China, who strongly favors diplomacy, though the administration has repeatedly declared diplomacy a failed policy, and with essentially no economic leverage on North Korea, has been seen leaning heavily toward military options.
China came up with a proposal for the US to end its wargames in South Korea in return for the North abandoning its nuclear and missile programs, and the US rejected the suggestion immediately. It’s unclear, given that, what more China is going to be able to propose. While Trump conceded last week that China’s level of influence over North Korea had been overstated, McMaster continued to present China as having the ability to solve the matter whenever they wished.