North Korea has a long history of demonstrating their military capabilities on dates they deem to be significant such as major anniversaries. With the anniversary of their military coming up on the 25th of April, the surrounding nations are bracing for the possibility of a nuclear test or launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. If this were to happen, it could potentially change the strategy President Trump has chosen to take in terms of North Korea, which seems to be using increased pressure alongside China, instead of direct military options. China’s President Xi Jinping told Trump that he opposes North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and hopes “all parties will exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also urged Trump to refrain from provoking North Korea because their nuclear and missile program is a very serious threat to their country. According to recent U.S. commercial satellite images, North Korea has increased their activity surrounding their nuclear missile testing site. South Korea’s Defense Ministry has also come out and stated that their neighbors to the north appear to be ready for “strategic provocations”. With all of this going on, Trump has launched an armada of ships to the region, even though the administration does not intend to respond militarily. However, North Korea has recently accused the Trump administration of driving the region into an “extremely dangerous phase”. North Korea also stated that they will be prepared to stand up to the U.S. and any threat that is posed to them, as well as respond to a total war with an all-out nuclear war. This creates problems for the Trump administration because if North Korea really does have the capabilities for an all-out-war, it could be inevitable no matter what happens in the coming days. Trump also needs to take into account the wishes of our allies, however so even if he were to take a more military-oriented stance on the situation, it does not seem that it would be in our best interests.

 

-Michael

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/south-korea-allies-brace-for-north-korea-follow-up-act/2017/04/23/a4fbfad4-2883-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html?utm_term=.7d6eb4533842