North Korea just fired four “test” missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan, about 2oo miles from the Japanese coast. By any stretch of the imagination, that’s waaay too close.
What can anyone conclude other than North Korea is trying to provoke Japan and its allies– which includes South Korea and the U.S.? Less than a month ago, North Korea told the U.S. that it has a missile capable of reaching our shores. Anyone doubt that this was a threat?
But besides ticking off South Korea and the U.S., North Korea seems to be trying to send China a message, too. Since China is probably the only ally North Korea has, the message seems to be that China needs to decide whose side its really on. China, as everyone knows, is one of the largest foreign owners of American land and a large exporter of goods into the United States. By antagonizing the U.S., North Korea puts considerable tension on U.S.-China relationships. The more North Korea acts out, the deeper the U.S. gets into protecting that area of the world.
China and the U.S., though, haven’t been feeling warm and fuzzy towards each other in recent days. The U.S. is talking about putting a missile defense system in South Korea, and for some reason China is opposed to that. According to a story in the L.A. Times, China thinks the missile defense system might also be used against it.
With major powers heating up in this cauldron of push and push-back, the potential for armed conflict is real, if not imminent– because North Korea is completely unpredictable.
Now add to this mix President Donald Trump and this becomes a soup that can quickly boil over and scorch. His lack of political experience and his inability to be diplomatic could exacerbate an already serious problem. This is a heck of a time for this man to be president.