US President Donald Trump’s aggressively worded rhetoric and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un’s counter attack with words accompanied by tough military tests are certainly making headlines suggesting that the two countries are on ‘brink of war’. But can the war of words actually lead to a nuclear war and ultimately World War III?
If you follow Twitter or international news at all, you must be aware about Trump’s typically bellicose approach of expressing himself via tweets, especially against North Korea. As a recent example, Trump took it to Twitter – as always, to respond to North Korea’s speech at the UNGA. Attached the tweet below, I don’t even know how to explain it, I mean being the President of a country like States, how can one simply be so confrontational and so personal while addressing to a leader of other country – especially amidst such escalating tension! This belligerently outspoken way of conduct from the American head has not only provoked the DPRK but it has scared many Americans from getting nuked over Tweets. So how thick are the chance of US-DPRK nuclear war because of Twitter – to be realistic and logical, not so much so far.
A – North Korea knows that if a full-blown war is initiated, they will not only lose the war against United States, but will lose their regime, their kingdom and perhaps their lives too. Initiating a war in 21st century will not be easy but more importantly, overcoming the aftermath of war would almost be apocalyptic
B – If they really the Koreans get pissed by Trumpian rhetoric and decide to take it to the fire, they will have to strike first so that there is some hope of winning. Striking first, as a surprise to US and finding a way to counteract America’s counterattack – which might include nuclear weapons – is almost very tough.
C – North Korea is used to conduct hostile acts, like sinking a South Korean warship, shelling a South Korean island, assassinating political rivals off shores and even launching direct attacks on American forces years ago. Yet, a war was never triggered, they are just too hostile about their strict confidential regime and tend to overreact impulsively – some kind of North Korean behaviour, maybe.
This means that North Korea isn’t willing to trigger a war, they are just interested in keeping up their status quo. Not willing to start a war because they are keenly aware of reason ‘A’ – that if there is a war, they will lose. However, this doesn’t mean that Trump’s tweets will have zero impact as on how DPRK decides to react. Because if they seriously believe that United States is preparing for a full-blown war, they might as well gamble on a first strike. Such intensive decisions can only be made if they are in such a desperate time which would justify their desperate measures.
So yes, Trump’s tweets, accompanied by American fleet or troop movements are really pushing DPRK to make such catastrophic decisions. And we all know, wars often begin through miscalculations – for example, many historians now credit Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany’s July 2, 1914 telegram to the Austrian government, which gave his ally a so-called blank check to do whatever it wished in the crisis with Serbia, as the fatal step that set the machinery inexorably in motion for the catastrophe of World War I. And to our horror, Trump seems to be sharing the dangerous traits of Kaiser – amateur militarists who adopt an ultra-nationalist bully-boy style of diplomacy, in part to cover up vast weaknesses in their own characters and their lack of understanding of their countries’ true strengths. Without realising that they are actually unleashing catastrophe.
Hence, threats to “utterly destroy” a nation of 25 million people is undoubtedly adding up to the never-ending stream of ill-considered words from the President. But thankfully, Trump is surrounded with careful military advisors, of not careful advisors for giving out statements. So it would be too much to say that a World War will be triggered just because of Trump’s tweets, but it certainly won’t be too much to say that he is nonetheless increasing the risks and provoking a sensitive regime – without not clear reward.