We may be sleep walking into 3rd world war as the tension between the U.S. And North Korea have escalated significantly in the past 24 hours.
North Korea according to the state run media KCNA have identified Guam as its first target.
U.S. Intelligence officials were quoted by Washington post that North Korea’s Nuclear capability is more advanced than previously thought.
North Korea is now believed to be capable of striking US mainland including Chicago.
The threat to attack Guam is significant because it is specific and within reach. Guam is a U.S. Territory between the Philippines and Hawaii, home to over 6000 U.S military personnel and an important Military strategic base.
It is now widely believe that North Korea have nuclear war heads that can be mounted on their intercontinental missiles.
President Trump on the other hand has been threatening fire and fury, and an attack not seen before in the history of man.
Is the western media machine talking up war or is the threat pose by North Korea real?
There maybe a little bit of both, the media may be guilty of hyperventilated reporting, and talking up chances of war, however the threat of a Nuclear armed North Korea with an irrational leader cannot be ignored.
The Governor of Guam said they have not seen any evidence of imminent or immediate threat to the city.
Pre-emptive and Retaliatory strike?
There is more at stake for the U.S. And the rest of the world compare to North Korea.
Despite Trump ratcheting up the rhetorics, it is hard to see the U.S. at this stage to pre-emptively order a strike on North Korea, the same thing however cannot be said about Kim Jong-un.
The devastation a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the US would cause will be too catastrophic and unimaginable, and a resultant retaliatory strike possibly with a heavier bomb would bring the world to it’s knees.
Economic sanction on Pyongyang by the UN supported by Russia and China does not seem to alter North Korea’s determination of becoming a nuclear armed state.
The power dynamics
China, an ally of North Korea will inevitably get involved, Japan and South Korea are both potential targets of Pyongyang. Russia has a strategic and vested interest in the ultimate destruction of the U.S. Both militarily and position on the world stage and thus may take side regardless of what Trump thinks of Putin.
NATO, an organisation so maligned by Trump during the campaign may be very vital to the U.S. In any upcoming arithmetics.
There is a school of thought that suggests, regardless of the actions of the west and China, North Korea will not stop its programme until it achieve a full fledge nuclear capability, after which they may be willing to come to the negotiating table. It is believe that North Korea need this capability to have a much stronger negotiating power.
Options available to the U.S.
This is a case of a helpless giant that is only permitted to react.
Every other options available to the U.S. has now been exhausted; strategic patience, diplomacy and sanctions, the latest being the one agreed on the 7th August. Non of these has helped, yet the problem is not going anywhere, at least not anytime soon but in the meantime, the threat level on both sides is growing.
Thus the only and the last option is military force, but this can only be a reactive or retaliatory move.
If the U.S. Can have a Nuclear Arsenal, why can’t North Korea?
The argument whether Nuclear armed states like the U.S. and Russia have a moral ground to deny aspiring countries like North Korea and Iran from developing the technology is somewhat dangerous but a debate for another day, in the meantime there has to be efforts to limit and stop North Korea’s nuclear programme.