Pyongyang's missile test could herald the president's first foreign policy crisis—with difficult consequences for the UNby Andrew Hammond / July 31, 2017 / Leave a comment
On Saturday, North Korea conducted its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test within a month. With the ICBMs apparently having the range to reach Alaska and potentially other US states on the country’s Western seaboard, the reclusive Pyongyang regime has dramatically raised the stakes in the intensifying foreign policy stand-off in the peninsula.
With the US homeland looking increasingly vulnerable, Donald Trump could soon be facing into his first major international crisis, fighting Pyongyang’s opposition to what the regime termed “beast-like US imperialists.”
The Trump team already is considering new unilateral sanctions against North Korea, and has been leading a charge in the UN Security Council to secure support for intensified international sanctions too. Coinciding with this, the United States and South Korea conducted their latest test on Sunday of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. Condemned by North Korea, China and Russia, THAAD is being deployed by Washington in South Korea as a means to potentially intercept missiles launched by Pyongyang.
Recent US rhetoric has given Beijing heightened concerns that Trump might now be thinking, much more seriously, about a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities. Earlier this month, Trump asserted that North Korea “is behaving in a very dangerous manner, and something will have to be done about it … and probably dealt with rapidly.”
Trump has acknowledged China can play a potentially very constructive role in seeking a diplomatic solution, but has expressed exasperation that it is not do…