US tensions with North Korea have reached a boiling point. North Korea says it is "carefully examining" a plan to strike the American Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, after US President Donald Trump threatened to hit the country “with fire and fury.”
Trump’s warning came following two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles by Pyongyang last month. Pyongyang says it needs to continue developing its missile force as a deterrent against the US and its regional allies’ aggression and expansionism. Press TV has talked to Paul Street, author, journalist and political commentator, as well as Frederick Peterson, political commentator and congressional defense policy adviser, to discuss the issue.
Street believes Trump’s “inflammatory rhetoric” is not the kind of language is “utterly preposterous, unnecessary and volatile.”
The analyst also noted that North Korea is well aware that the one and only reason that it is not “invaded and overthrown” by the United States is its nuclear capability.
He also maintained the US strategic doctrine has been to carry out a preemptive strike against Pyongyang for a decade. Therefore, he said, there is nothing surprising about the way North Korea has developed its nuclear weapons.
“I cannot imagine anything more preposterous than positing the United States as some sort of guardian of peace, justice and democracy anywhere in the world, including the Korean Peninsula. I mean the record of regime changes led by the United States over the last century is simply astonishing. North Koreans know very well the nuclear capability is about the one thing that saves their regime from the fate of Libya, Iraq or Chile,” he said.
Street further predicted that there will not be a war. However, he argued it could happen accidentally when heads of state use such rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Frederick Peterson, the other panelist on the program, opined that this situation is the result of “cowardice and fantasy” in foreign policy being entertained by the United States as well as the world community to avoid conflict at all cost.
He also stated it is not clear whether North Korea’s plan to strike Guam is a mere threat intended to achieve some policy objective or it is a “practical real threat.”
He further emphasized the world should take principled-action against North Korea , not just impose mere sanctions which have so far failed to dissuade the country from pursuing its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
“What we need is principle, not just to secure South Korea, China, Japan, the US and world peace but we need it for the North Koreans themselves,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Peterson claimed that President Trump was “responding” to threats of North Korea , not threatening Pyongyang.
“A national leader has a responsibility to his people. If there is to be a response to this threat of nuclear weapon use which has been made quite openly against the United States and against territories and interests of the US , it is the responsibility of the president to address that threat,” he said.
The analyst further argued the notion that North Korea’s nuclear weapons have kept the United States from invading Pyongyang is “hilarious” and “fantasy talk.”
He concluded by saying that North Korea poses a threat to the entire world that should not be tolerated and it needs to be addressed with principle, not war. - Press TV