President – elect Donald Trump has made what some would consider a bold bet that North Korea will not test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S with an atomic bomb.
Late last night in relation to North Korea, Trump tweeted, “It won’t happen.” Following the tweet, Trump went on to claim that China has to up its game to help rein in North Korea and its autocratic government. He wrote, “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the US in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!”
Analysts believe that despite his bravado, the President – elect has backed himself into a corner over North Korea. They believe he now has only four options.
One would be to influence China, who Donald Trump claims are not pulling their weight have been reported to be frustrated at their limited ability to push North Korea. Trump could start a trade war with China in an effort to get the superpower to take action.
Tong Zhao, an associate at Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, believes this to be a mistake. This is a view shared by John Delury, associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, who said, “From a US-China perspective, it would be a huge waste of (political) capital and energy going after them on North Korea when the US could approach North Korea directly trying to get them to do something on North Korea.”
Another method could involve tightening sanctions in an effort to control the country, the downside here is that there is no evidence these will influence Kim Jong Un’s regime, especially as the country believes a nuclear capability is essential to its survival.
Other options suggested for the President – elect is direct military action. Given that the country carried out two nuclear tests any kind of invasion would be a high-risk strategy.
This leaves negotiation and of the options is the only viable one to get results. The autocratic leader has issues with America’s support for South Korea, and no doubt this and their nuclear capability would be hotly debated.