Ending Pyongyang’s brinkmanship

September 20, 2017 By Vinod Saighal, The Statesman

The tensions surrounding the brinkmanship of the North Korean leader have kept the two countries most imperiled, South Korea and Japan on edge. In the latter case there were reports of brisk sales of nuclear shelters. Something similar is bound to be taking place in South Korea as well. In the face of the scale of the destruction that could take place in the event of actual hostilities these measures amount to nothing.

Many analysts writing in publications across the world have begun to justify Kim Jong-Un’s brinkmanship on the ground that he is thereby securing the longevity of his regime against any action that the US might take. As long as Kim knows that China will not join hands with America in taking him out he will keep upping the ante, thumbing his nose, so to say at the US. The latter may threaten fire and fury and unimaginable scale of destruction, but he knows they are on the horns of a dilemma. And now Russia too has come out in his support to the extent that they oppose unilateral US action and insist that dialogue would be the only way out.

By the looks of it Kim is not likely to stop his brinkmanship. On the other hand provoking the US beyond a point would certainly invite preemptive action. Whatever the nature of pre-emptive strike by the US and its two major allies in the region, South Korea and Japan, the destruction that would ensue would, to go by Mr. Trump’s words, be unimaginable. Its scale referred to by the US President needs to be spelled out.[Source]

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