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Kim Jong Un Isn’t the Only Wild Card In the North Korea Crisis: On the morning of Sept. 3, America’s top military, intelligence and diplomatic officials were summoned to present Donald Trump with their assessment of the mounting crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Events were moving fast. Over the course of the previous week, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un had launched a missile on a 1,700-mile flight over Japan and publicly displayed what he claimed was a hydrogen bomb that could be placed atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. Then, the North announced that it had tested its largest nuclear device to date, a weapon whose power unleashed shock waves measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. That Kim had the means to annihilate an American city–something U.S. Administrations had worked for more than 20 years to prevent–seemed no longer a specter but a reality.

And yet two hours before Trump got his full download from the brass, he launched a rhetorical attack against … America’s most vulnerable ally in the region, South Korea. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump tweeted just before 8 a.m. Meanwhile, senior officials were already in contact with the anxious staff members of the South’s President, Moon Jae-in, to arrange a call between the leaders. Their conversation, on Sept. 4, greenlighted billions of dollars more in military aid from the U.S. as well as boosted South Korea’s defense capabilities. One U.S. official said the tweet had little impact because governments have learned not to take Trump’s tweets at face value.

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Related News: Trump: ‘It will be a very sad day for North Korea’ if U.S. takes military action. Read More…

Kim Jong Un Isn’t the Only Wild Card In the North Korea Crisis: On the morning of Sept. 3, America’s top military, intelligence and diplomatic officials were summoned to present Donald Trump with their assessment of the mounting crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Events were moving fast. Over the course of the previous week, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un had launched a missile on a 1,700-mile flight over Japan and publicly displayed what he claimed was a hydrogen bomb that could be placed atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. Then, the North announced that it had tested its largest nuclear device to date, a weapon whose power unleashed shock waves measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. That Kim had the means to annihilate an American city–something U.S. Administrations had worked for more than 20 years to prevent–seemed no longer a specter but a reality.And yet two hours before Trump got his full downl