21 Agosto 2017 09:37
The war of words continuesAs tensions between the US and North Korea continue to escalate, Pyongyang has issued a stark warning that ‘a merciless strike’ will occur if planned military drills in South Korea go ahead today (Monday). Twice a year for the past four decades, American and South Korean troops have prepared for large-scale attacks from the volatile North Korean government, and every year the drills are condemned by the North. However, since Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s recent war of words and escalating threats of all-out war, these military exercises mean there is more at stake. The US-South Korea drills are set to last for ten days and will see 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean troops come together to rehearse potential war scenarios. Both countries have said they are defensive by nature, but the Jong-un administration sees them as much more threatening, particularly as training includes rehearsing the assassination of the dictator. ‘The Trump group's declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) ... is a reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war,’ an article in official government newspaper Rodong Sinmun read. ‘The Korean People's Army is keeping a high alert, fully ready to contain the enemies. It will take resolute steps the moment even a slight sign of the preventive war is spotted... If the U.S. is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else's doorstep far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever,’ it concluded. Tough rhetoric from the Trump administration and severe United Nations sanctions have been on the increase ever since North Korea expanded its nuclear capabilities. It is believed the North’s army could now target US mainland, Hawaii and the Pacific territory of Guam if provocations continue. And, US President Donald Trump has proven himself to be the erratic, hot-headed leader many thought he would be, particularly in relation to North Korea. The prospect of nuclear war has been more imminent since the property mogul-turned-reality-star-turned-politician took office. It would be a sad end to the world if a few late night tweets caused total human annihilation. Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, told the New York Times that calling off the military exercises could be used as an invaluable bargaining chip to dispel the current level of tension. But, putting hopes in Trump to choose the informed and calm method in dealing with North Korea is probably naive, and such a halt to bi-annual drills is likely to be met with much backlash from military and political officials. So, all the world can do, once again, is sit and wait and hope the whole thing blows over before worldwide armageddon is unleashed.