No doubt tensions are rising between North Korea and the United States.Just yesterday, we reported President Trump is convening a meeting of the entire Senate tomorrow afternoon for an update on the growing crisis, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. It’s extremely rare to call such a meeting.
Meanwhile, the US is making a show of force on the other side of the globe. The USS Michigan, the nuclear-powered Ohio class submarine, is now at the South Korean port of Busan, and will soon join the USS Vinson aircraft carrier strike group in the Philippine Sea south of Japan for exercises.
Is it all for show? Well, if it is, North Korea just put on a pretty big one of its own.
Per Fox News, North Korea on Tuesday reportedly conducted a huge live-fire drill that involved up to 400 artillery pieces, which may have been supervised by the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, as the U.S. added a nuclear-powered submarine to its fleet of vessels powering toward the region. Pyongyang apparently deployed long-range artillery units in the coastal region of Wonsan, an unnamed government source told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. South Korea’s military did not confirm the report, but told the news outlet it was “firmly maintaining readiness.”
One has to wonder what President Trump discussed with China’s leader just a few weeks ago at Mar-a-Lago. General Secretary Xi Jinping had almost a front row seat when the president bombed Syria.
Perhaps the message was, keep your little hand puppet Kim Jong-un in line, or you might be watching a rerun soon. What does China get out of its alliance with North Korea? Clearly North Korea needs China far more than China needs more bad haircuts.Per the Telegraph, China, the North’s only diplomatic ally and trading partner, banned imports of coal from its neighbour in mid February after tough UN sanctions were imposed on Pyongyang.
Chinese media has raised the possibility that Beijing could choke the country of crude oil, a potentially devastating move for Kim’s regime.Let’s hope that becomes the straw that breaks the belligerent’s back. Much less messy than a war.
[This article was written by Michele Hickford, author of Do I Need To Slap You? How to Avoid Stupid Relationship Mistakes]