There are few scenarios more disquieting than a showdown between two mentally-erratic rulers with nuclear weapons in the middle of one of the world’s most densely-populated and economically-important regions. Yet that’s the scenario which seems to be developing in East Asia.
In brief, the North Korean regime, showing its usual bluster, is apparently about to conduct another nuclear or missile test. Trump has diverted the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group toward the region and warned that the US will not tolerate such a provocation. The North Korean regime has a history of ignoring foreign pressure to dial back its saber-rattling, and Trump has a history of taking aggressive actions without thought to, or even understanding of, possible consequences. But if the test goes ahead and Trump carries out some kind of military action against North Korea, the consequences could be enormous indeed.
The regime has repeatedly threatened that, if attacked, it would retaliate against our allies Japan and South Korea: