Why North Korea Seems to Be Pushing Trump Toward a Potential Crisis

Cheryl Sanders
March 14, 2017

The latest missile launches seem to have been meant to counter a U.S.

"But the way we look at the Thaad deployment is it's a very utterly reasonable step for a country to take, which sees itself threatened by missiles from its northern neighbor, and not only sees itself threatened, but these threats and these provocations are coming now with great regularity and it's very alarming to people who have to live under that kind of situation", Thornton said.

However, no matter who wins the South Korean presidency in May, one aspect of China's anti-Thaad campaign remains completely unpredictable. In terms of security, China simply can not replace the U.S.as a provider of security because it has not demonstrated its ability or willingness to deter North Korea.

The first piece of a controversial USA -built missile system known as THAAD arrived in South Korea this week, and it is due to be deployed on land now occupied by a golf course before the end of this year.

The accelerated deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system by the United States in South Korea is a harbinger of instability and tension in East Asia. The allies call the drills routine.

The DPRK has denounced the joint springtime war games as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.

The report reveals that North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau uses foreign nationals as facilitators and relies on many front companies in several countries.

"China has made the decision to support North Korea", Long said. -South Korean military exercises and delay the deployment of new USA military assets to the Korean Peninsula.

Yet the most perplexing issue for Tillerson could be how to navigate the fractious relationships the Asian nations have with one another. The upcoming South Korean elections are expected to hand over the Blue House in Seoul to the liberal Moon Jae In, who is wary of Thaad and an advocate of avoiding the spectre of South Korea becoming a victim to intensified US-China military competition. But since taking office, Trump has sought to allay those concerns. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the alliance "will continue to be a linchpin of regional stability and security", the Associated Press reported. "At a time when the USA administration's policy review on North Korea is in its final stages, and our joint approach to the North is materializing through meetings of (recent) foreign ministers and nuclear envoys, Tillerson's visit to Korea is very important and timely". But commercial flights don't easily align with Tillerson's schedule, making such coverage more hard. When the Mexican Foreign Minister was in Washington last week, he went straight to Trump's advisers and did not even meet the Secretary of State.

During the three-day simulation exercise, three Aegis-equipped destroyers - Sejongdaewang from South Korea, Curtis Wilbur from the U.S. and Kirishima from Japan - will detect and trace a mock hostile target in the water between South Korea and Japan, according to South Korea's Navy. It wasn't clear if the decision might be amended. Abe has courted Trump, visiting the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last month. North Korea appears increasingly aggressive, conducing multiple missile tests. Meanwhile, a power vacuum has opened in Seoul following a freaky corruption scandal that toppled president Park Geun-hye last week, leaving the country in caretaker mode until elections in May.

It is this strategic logic that has led Beijing to adopt a policy that, instead of dialing up pressure on Pyongyang, ratchets up tensions with Washington and Seoul.

Adding fuel to the fire, the US and South Korea instead to negotiate with North Korea, conduct large-scale joint military exercises every year. Given such reality, anyone with common sense would think it's within South Koreans' rights of self-defense that they install the advanced USA missile-defense system, known as THAAD, as soon as possible. Beijing claims the radar can range inside Chinese territory and weaken its nuclear deterrent.

The Chinese government is acutely concerned at the prospect of war on its doorstep involving its ally, North Korea.

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