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What Can Be the US Response to the North Korean Tension?


The developments in the Korean Peninsula continue to be at the center of the attention of the international media. The tension further escalated, when North Korea last Sunday unsuccessfully   launched a ballistic missile, which was said to be in response of the fleet of American warships sailing to the Korean Peninsula. Another provocation from the North Korea came during the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, a video was shown, in which intercontinental ballistic missile soared across the Pacific Ocean, obliterating an American city.

In the face of all these there is still much deliberation what will the US response to all this be. To answer this question, it will be useful to review the comments of the high level US officials so far made on the issue. During his visits to South Korea, the US Vice President Michael Pence noted:

"The world had witnessed Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, which saw a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State in Afghanistan. North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region," Reuters reports.

In addition, Pence declared that the "era of strategic patience is over" with North Korea, the statement, which was previously made by the US Secretary of State Rex, during his visit to China. However, on Monday, the White House Speaker asked the reporters not to make an analogy on the US actions on the one hand in Syria, Afghanistan, on the other hand in North Korea. Instead he noted:

"I think you see China playing a much more active role with respect to North Korea both politically and economically, that they can continue to apply pressure to achieve results.  And I think we're going to continue to urge China to exhibit its influence in the region to get better results." In his turn already in Japan, US Vice President also spoke of economic and diplomatic measures against North Korea to be implemented in cooperation with its partner in the region and China.

In one of his tweets the US President Donald Trump also emphasized the necessity of cooperation with China on the issue. He particularly noted:  "Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!"

Judging from the rhetoric of the high level US officials, we can assume that at least at this stage they keep rhetoric high to make their stance on the issue stronger. What refers to the concrete actions, if there are no unplanned, unexpected developments, at this stage the US will be more prone to what they call diplomatic and economic actions, which will be done in close cooperation with their allies in the region and in agreement with China.  

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