North Korea state media broadcast a statement recently declaring new United Nations sanctions as an “infringement on sovereignty” and an “act of war.” (Dec. 24)
One of the most serious issues of 2017 has been what to do about North Korea.
In September, Kim Jong Un’s regime tested a large nuclear weapon underground, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb.
North Korea also demonstrated this year that it has the missile technology to deliver its warheads pretty much anywhere in the world.
Kim’s regime in Pyongyang has also deployed inflammatory rhetoric, even threatening to bracket the U.S. territory of Guam with missiles.
The Trump administration has responded with threats of its own, raising fears of a war in Northeast Asia.
Former CIA director John Brennan has estimated the chance of war at 20-25%, while Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, puts the chance at 50-50%.
Others are more sanguine, noting that the United States and its allies have not mobilized for war, or even begun moving the masses of weapons platforms, ammunition and other supplies that would be needed to prosecute an all-out conflict.
Almost everyone agrees a war would be catastrophic, with the potential use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that could cause the deaths of millions in North and South Korea, and possibly in China and Japan. The…