FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiMonday, May 1, 2017
ubochit@hotmail.de
Bonn, Germany

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PRESIDENTS BUHARI AND TRUMP IN COMPARISON:
THE "KINGS" HAVE BADGES, BUT NO CLUE (6)

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Continued from Part 5

The goal of war is peace, of business, leisure (Aristotle)

The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst (Harry Emerson Fosdick)

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart (Albert Einstein)

et me look more at the North Korean issue in this part of the article, as the subsequent part will be devoted mostly to how Buhari helped in creating the challenges he's facing now.

The North Korean leader is basking in the limelight offered to him by president Trump, as he has forced Trump to move his repressive, communist state to the top of America's international priority list now. That's what the North Korean leader wants, and he's getting it! Now the whole world is talking about Kim Jung Un, because Trump have elevated him high to where he was not supposed to be. Imagine that Kim Jung Un has made his country, North Korea, Trump's major headache, and a nightmare to the president and commander-in-chief of the American forces, the supposedly most powerful person on earth. Trump said, in an exclusive interview grant to Reuters, on Thursday, April 27, that North Korea was his biggest global challenge.

For the fact that Trump wants to win always is making him a failure everywhere. Trump promised more than he can fulfill, and threatened more than he can carry out. Unable to delivery, he becomes desperate looking for a way out.

While claiming that all options are on the table, Trump should not plunge the world into a World War. The best he should have done was to ignore the "provocative, destabilizing and threatening behavior" of the North Korean leadership, while working with China and the United Nations to rein in the excesses of the North Koreans. There's no way Trump can deviate from the long-standing U.S. policy that has been particularly uninterested in toppling the regime of leader Kim Jong Un; uninterested in forcing a reunification of the two Koreas, but has mainly been interested in pushing for their long-term cooperation in order to maintain peace in the region.

Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, according to Reuters, on Saturday, April 29, urged the United States to show restraint after North Korea's latest missile test, and to avoid playing into the hands of leader Kim Jong Un, who "wants to end the world". The notoriously blunt Duterte said the Southeast Asia region was extremely worried about tensions between the United States and North Korea, and said one misstep would be a "catastrophe" and Asia would be the first victim of a nuclear war. The United States, Japan, South Korea and China, he said, were sparring with a man who was excited about the prospect of firing missiles.

The Vice President, Mike Pence, visited the region recently, and was threatening fire and brimstone against North Korea. That was an empty threat that will worsen an already bad situation. The CNN wrote that the VP said the United States has lost its strategic patience with North Korea. So what's a had-it-up-to-here superpower to do to stop a pariah nation bent on putting its nuclear weapons on top of a missile that could reach America?

Tough talk, for sure. Lean on China to turn off its life support to its neighbor. But for all the warnings that Trump will fix the showdown with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, it's so far unclear whether at its foundation, his strategy is all that different from previous administrations -- which for the last quarter century have failed to stop that country's nuclear march. And for all its hawkish rhetoric, the Trump administration is also constrained by the delicate military balance that has prevailed on the Korean peninsula for 60 years. That arrangement makes a US strike designed to disable the North's missile programs seem unlikely.

Maybe Trump is calling his predecessors fools for being patient, and for engaging North Korea, rather than threatening or attacking it, because they understood the magnitude of the problems such an attack will unleash on the Korean peninsula and the whole southeast Asia. The problem is that Trump can't do anything to North Korea; his best bet would be to know how to contain the rogue regime, just like his predecessors did, or else he will create more problems he can't grapple with. Some believe that President Donald Trump is out of his depth when threatening to take on North Korea alone. CNN argues in an article that the US may be underestimating North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. CNN reports that while horrifying, extreme and disgusting, Un's actions are part of a young leader's consolidation of power. North Korea's system says he is the grandson of a god, and that the Kim family is owed "absolute obedience," so he can do whatever he wants. The Bloomberg also tells Trump to learn from his predecessors, as successive U.S. presidents have struggled to contain three successive North Korean dictators.

Even though Adm. Harry Harris Jr, the senior Navy officer overseeing Pacific military operations, just said that North Korea crisis is at the worst point he has ever seen, adding that he has no doubt North Korea intends to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the US, neither Trump nor the North Korean leader, despite their respective unpredictable nature, will ever attack the other. And that was a point Senator John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made on Thursday, April 27, when he said that President Donald Trump is well aware that a preemptive strike against North Korea must be a last resort, in large part because of the artillery Kim Jong Un's regime could unleash to devastate South Korea's capital. In his words: "One of the major reasons is because of that artillery that's north of Seoul -- that is really of concern. I know that the president is committed" to "building up this relationship he has" with China's President Xi Jinping, North Korea's neighbor and economic lifeline".

Despite the military preparations which are "underway", Trump will never attack North Korea. Even if he orders an attack, I'm quite sure that the military will disobey him on that. The Commanders over there might prefer to resign than to engage in "another Vietnam" with far worse consequences. Anthony Blinken, the former Obama administration Deputy Secretary of State, told CNN that "There is no silver bullet. This talk about a military solution sounds good but is in reality very, very dangerous".

The South China Morning Post summed up the five reasons why the US cannot attack North Korea, and one of them goes as far back as 1955. The newspaper notes that the situation in North Korea is not the same as Syria, where Trump launched an attack against an airbase after accusing Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, of bombing his own people with chemical weapons.

Any military action in North Korea "carries far greater risks". Technically, the Korean peninsula remains in a state of war, although fighting stopped on 27 July 1955 with an armistice signed by Washington and Beijing and endorsed by the UN. If the US made good on its threat and attacked North Korea it would breach the treaty.

Unlike Syria, North Korea's nuclear weapons capabilities have matured in recent years. The rogue nation has conducted five nuclear tests and has claimed to have successfully "miniaturised" nuclear warheads, although that has not been independently verified. Despite some tests failing, military experts believe that Pyongyang has learned from the setbacks and might be able to develop a nuclear-tipped, intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the US within the next four years- during Trump's presidency.

Another problem the US would face if it attacked North Korea is China. China and North Korea have signed the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty under which both parties are obliged to offer immediate military and other assistance in the event of an outside attack. The treaty has been extended twice and is valid until 2021. China is insisting on a peaceful resolution for fear that its border would be pierced by hundreds of thousands of refugees from North Korea, if the Kim Jung-un regime collapsed. In the words of The South China Morning Post: "From a geopolitical point of view, Beijing views North Korea as a buffer zone from the potential encroachment by powers aligned with the US, including Japan and South Korea".

Another point is that neither South Korea nor Japan wants a military provocation. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is only 40km from the border and hence "particularly vulnerable to a North Korean attack. Sam Gardiner, a former US Air Force colonel, told The Atlantic magazine that the US "cannot protect Seoul, at least for the first 24 hours of a war and maybe for the first 48". Even former US president, Bill Clinton, was put off from bombing the Yongbyon reactor in 1994 after defence officials told him that the intensity of combat with Pyongyang "would be greater than any the world has witnessed since the last Korean War".

To be continued soon!

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrtN3RGNdR4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZUq6N7Gx1c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9-a6c4oKik

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

Continued from Part 5

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IMAGES IN THE NEWS