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    Does Washington Really Consider War With North Korea an 'Option'?

    © AP Photo / U.S. Navy
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    A military option is by no means a remedy for the Korean crisis, Vzglyad columnist Petr Akopov writes, adding that what initially emerged as a tool to blackmail China is about to threaten world peace.

    While the US mainstream media outlets and politicians continue to push ahead with the narrative of "Russian traces" in the US election campaign, it is unlikely that it will result in an all-out nuclear confrontation, Russian online newspaper Vzglyad notes, stressing that Washington's provocative actions toward North Korea are a different story.

    In an interview on The Today Show, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hinted Tuesday that the US president sees war with North Korea as an option.

    "There is a military option to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself," Graham said.

    "If there's going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They're not going to die here. And he [Donald Trump] has told me that to my face," the US politician said, adding that if he were China, he "would believe him, too, and do something about it."

    For his part, US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News Friday that the US needs to "reunite the Korean Peninsula" and consider a military option toward Pyongyang.

    "The military option has to be looked at now," he said, citing US military officials, "If the other option is dead American civilians killed by a nuclear weapon launched by a regime that's the only hereditary Communist dictatorship in the world, what is the American President supposed to do?"

    According to Vzglyad columnist Petr Akopov, the North Korean issue initially emerged as a tool for blackmail against China. It appears that someone has persuaded the US President that it would be the best way to exert pressure on Beijing, Akopov noted.

    Indeed, in the eyes of Washington, the Korean issue is not as controversial as the Taiwan topic, the journalist remarked.

    "If Trump continued to blackmail China with the possibility of unfreezeing the Taiwan issue (that is, to revise the 'one China' policy), this would simply lead to a paralysis between Washington and Beijing. Xi Jinping would not even talk with the US President, who wants to undermine the very foundation of relations between China and the United States," Akopov explained.

    Still, the Trump administration's efforts to twist Beijing's arm over the North Korean issue has not borne any fruit either.

    "What did Trump want? Did he want China to bring him North Korea on a silver plate, forcing Pyongyang to stop the nuclear program or even change the regime there? Neither of the options is possible, even if for some reason Beijing suddenly decided to make such a gift for the Americans," Akopov wrote.

    President Donald Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla
    © AP Photo / Alex Brandon
    President Donald Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla

    The journalist assumed that Trump wanted to force Beijing into making apologies for its ally first and then into making considerable trade concessions. If the plan worked, Trump would have been heralded as the politician who solved the Korean crisis.

    The problem is that this approach is completely detached from reality, the journalist stressed, adding that US politicians have little understanding of the situation in North Korea and Beijing-Pyongyang relations.

    As a result, the Trump administration's warmongering rhetoric appears to be both ludicrous and dangerous: on the one hand, no one in their right mind would believe that Pyongyang is going to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike against the US; on the other hand, US hawks' enthusiasm about the possibility of war between North Korea and the United States raises serious concerns.

    Over the last half a year, Washington has been steadily stepping up pressure on North Korea, while the latter has been intensifying activities related to its nuclear program in response.

    Pyongyang justifies its actions with the notion that the nuclear deterrence is the only guarantee of the country's sovereignty.

    Akopov pointed out that although China and Russia have repeatedly condemned North Korea for its missile tests, Moscow and Beijing believes that the Korean issue could be solved solely through diplomatic measures.

    In light of this, the US saber-rattling near North Korea's borders is only adding fuel to the fire, the journalist warned.

    The question then arises whether it is Pyongyang that's the real trouble-maker in the region.

    "That's where the threat to peace comes from: the United States' potential attack against North Korea, a country that doesn't pose a threat to the United States, but on the contrary, has been living for 65 years in the cross hairs of American weapons," Akopov concluded.


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    missile tests, One China policy, nuclear tests, diplomacy, NATO, US Department of Defense (DoD), Pentagon, John Bolton, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, Japan, United States, Russia, Taiwan, South Korea
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