A visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Asia may set the stage for North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un to conduct another nuclear test as a show of defiance.
Anita Kumar, McClatchy News reporter revealed such a possibility during a recent CNBC roundtable discussion:
“What experts are telling me though is that there might be a missile test by North Korea while President Trump is traveling. That’s going to put him on the spot while he’s in China or South Korea. So that would be huge. He would have to react there and then how to react”
Kumar believes Kim could be triggered to conduct the test if Trump continues to insult his character and issue bombastic threats:
“The President needs to watch what language he uses during his first Asia trip as the leader of the U.S.”
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis recently visited the demilitarized zone that separates South and North Korea. Mattis also visited South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
During a press conference with his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, Mattis shared his opinion that the threat from North Korea had significantly grown since his last visit in 2016.
“North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbours and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs. I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power.”
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that a war with North Korea would be a disaster. Stoltenberg feels that the key to avoiding war lies in diplomacy and other peaceful means to get Pyongyang to discontinue its nuclear build-up versus its perceived enemies.
The Japanese government reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a call from Trump to discuss ways in which they could neutralize North Korea’s nuclear and development program. Trump is scheduled to be in Japan from November 5 to 7.
NATO also hopes that Russia assumes a more prominent role in the discussions with North Korea. Russia is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and is a close ally of North Korea.