President Trump Attacking North Korea
President Trump has been pumping up the prospects of a preemptive attack on North Korea for the last two weeks. Lately a strike is being downplayed as a possibility. He has been talking about a large naval armada in route to the Korean Peninsula; The US USS Carl Vinson strike group accompanied by two Japanese destroyers is headed to the Korean peninsula to conduct war games with the South Korean Navy. On Wednesday there is a classified briefing at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea. The briefing will be conducted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford.
White House released a readout on the telephone conversation between President Trump and President Xi Jinping, “President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of China to address issues regarding North Korea. President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
According to the China Daily News President Xi told President Trump, “China firmly opposes actions that violate the resolutions by the United Nations Security Council, and China expects all the relevant parties to remain restrained and avoid taking moves that aggravate peninsula tension. Only when all parties involved shoulder their due duties and meet each other halfway could the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue be resolved at an early date and the peninsula’s denuclearization be achieved…”
China’s Prime Minister Wang stated on April 23rd, “That there were already enough shows of force and confrontation at present and that we need to make peaceful rational voices…China’s stand on the issue of the Korean Peninsula is a constant and definite, and will not change, which means adherence to peace and stability of Korean Peninsula. Therefore, peaceful means must be applied to solve the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula…”
According Yonhap News, “South Korea’s defense authorities said Monday the USS Carl Vinson, an American aircraft carrier, is scheduled to hold a joint training exercise with South Korean naval ships near the peninsula…”
One theory from intelligence is that the United States has been deliberately lowering the expectations of an attack on North Korea in the press lately to allow for North Korea and China to relax its posture allowing easier targeting of primary targets of select individuals and equipment. The attack would most likely occur during the joint training with the Japanese and South Korean naval forces. This would allow the US to claim the attack as a joint coalition strike. Japan and South Korea would have been giving no prior knowledge that the strike was to occur but would still being tied to it internationally. This would allow the US to not get unilaterally blamed for any retaliatory damage done to South Korea along with projecting a larger perceived threat to China and Russia to prevent any possibly retaliation.
What will happen on the Korean Peninsula is difficult to gauge from the daily change in rhetoric from the US administration. Today President Trump met with the UN National Security Council and will meet with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. Tonight for dinner he is meeting with war-hawk Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Please review the links within the article to draw your own conclusion and opinions.