Is the US at the brink of war with North Korea?
The simple answer would be no. But that would be too simple, right?
The strong, borderline antagonistic, attitudes displayed by both sides, especially in such a place as the United Nations General Assembly is simply astonishing. The fact that two sovereign leaders can exchange insults on such a formal and public stage, in the full gaze of the eagerly watching global community really does come straight out of the pagebook of a slapstick 1970's comedy.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
The shocking fact of the matter is... it is very real, and it is happening.
Even as the North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Yong-ho addressed the United Nations, US Air Force bombers were flying the closest to North Korean airspace as has been flown in decades.
Back at the UN, Yong-ho kicked off his speech by wasting no time in rolling out the most heated rhetoric used so far in what it is fair to say is now at worse a crisis, at best a stand-off.
He said; "Since Trump uttered such reckless and violent words provoking the supreme dignity of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at this very platform, I think it is fair enough for me to make a response in the corresponding tone.
"During his 8 months in power, he has turned the White House into a noisy marketing place full of crackling sounds of abacus beads and now he has tried to turn the UN arena into a gangsters' nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.
"The absurd reality that the person like Trump, a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency, the person who is chastised even by American people..."
But that wasn't enough for Mr Yong-ho, and the rhetoric was ratcheted up almost to the point of no return when the reclusive state's foreign secretary went on to say; "Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity ofmy country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more.
"None other than Trump himselfis on a suicide mission. "In case innocent lives ofthe U.S. are lost because ofthis suicide attack. Trump will be held totally responsible.
"The respected supreme leader Comrade Kim Jong Un stated : as a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative ofthe supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
"Trump might not have been aware what is uttered from his mouth but we will make sure that he bears consequences far beyond his words, far beyond the scope of what he can handle even if he is ready to do so."
For months, much of the global media have been critical about President Trump's choice of words when it came to discussing North Korea, but after Yong-Ho's performance at the world's discussion forum, one can only summise that the conflict of words between the US and North Korea is rapidly approaching breaking point.
So, back to my original question, is the US and North Korea on the brink of war?
The US has significant military force in the Pacific already, and the North Korean army are said to the one of the most numerous and brutal in the world. Both pitted against each other in a conventional war would cost countless lives, and be on the scale not seen since the Vietnam War.
There is appetite within US public opinion to do something about the North Korean regime, however there is no appetite for a drawn out, Vietnam-style ground conflict.
The burning question right now is that. How would the US and indeed the world react if North Korea was the first aggressor? What if one of their missle tests went catastrphically wrong and hit a civilian population in Japan?
With all the tough talk from all those concerned, and with the circumstances as described above, war would be inevitable.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS