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Flashpoint Korea: US muscle flexing won’t get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme
Posted:Apr 13, 2017
 
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Amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korea has warned of a nuclear attack on the US at any sign of American aggression. This comes on the heels of Washington’s recent decision to send a naval carrier strike group to the region and US strikes against a Syrian airbase for purported use of chemical weapons. It appears that Washington wants to keep all its options open to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme. That the US has already begun deploying the THAAD anti-missile defence system in South Korea shows that Washington is preparing for all possible contingencies.
 
That said, such American show of force is unlikely to move Pyongyang. On the contrary, it is likely to harden Pyongyang’s resolve to pursue its nuclear programme. Over the decades, North Korea’s ruling Kim family has itself used the threat of force against South Korea and Japan as an effective bargaining chip. It has conducted five nuclear tests so far, and could conduct a sixth in the face of recent US military moves.
 
Add to this the fact that China is North Korea’s closest ally. President Donald Trump urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea during their recent meet. This is a vain hope, as China sees the US as a strategic rival and is not keen to oblige. Beijing does not want to deal with a likely flood of refugees should the North Korean regime collapse, nor will it allow US and South Korean forces to advance to its doorstep. Given these realities, it’s unclear what US military muscle flexing will achieve. It won’t get North Korea to denuclearise but will raise tensions in east Asia – another example of incoherent foreign policy emanating from Washington.
 
Source: Times of India, April 13, 2017
 
 
 
 
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