Tensions rise as North Korea puts on a show of strength
For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1963 the threat of nuclear war is looming as tensions grow between the United States and North Korea .
The chances of a clash escalating have increased in recent days as military from North and South Korea traded artillery fire and sunk each other’s naval boats and submarines without warning.
With Trump warning that North Korea is a problem that “will be taken care of”, both sides are pushing the stand-off to the limit.
This week the isolated dictatorship run by Kim Jong-un has threatened to test bigger nuclear weapons.
Kim’s forces also staged a massive military parade, displaying long-range, submarine-based missiles for the first time. It came as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group headed towards the region after leaving Singapore.
Military analyst Frank Reidy described the situation as “unbelievable” and said that “the peace is failing.”
Adding to the fear factor is the inexperience of the U.S. leadership and the “shallow egos” of both leaders, according to Reidy.
The American cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the use of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb in Afghanistan has been widely seen as a clear-cut warning to the regime.
Choe Ryong-hae, said to be the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said the country is ready to stand up to any threat posed by the U.S.
“We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” Mr Choe said.
Asked this week if the use of the massive bomb in Afghanistan was a message, Trump said he “didn’t know”.
“It doesn’t make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of.”
In response to recent aggressive statements coming from Kim Jong-un, including threats to destroy the U.S., Trump dispatched the USS Carl Vinson carrier group.
While the U.S. Navy never publicly comments on the subject, their major warships are known to be armed with nuclear weapons and pack enough punch to lay waste to North Korea.
U.S. officials said Trump’s policy will increase pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China, instead of military options or trying to overthrow Kim.
China is North Korea’s only major ally, but has attacked their nuclear tests and supported UN sanctions.
However, ranged against the Americans and South Korea is one of the world’s largest military forces.
With 1,000 combat aircraft, thousands of missile systems and the ability to call up an army of 5.2 million soldiers, they pose a formidable threat.
Even as the devastating American hardware moved into position, Kim Jong-un put on a brave face, smiling and laughing during the massive display of military strength.
The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States.
However, military experts believe it still has some way to go before developing all the necessary technology.