Tuesday, 20th February 2018
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Dr. Strangelove

For anyone who is trying to follow what is happening on the Korean peninsula, what with its promises of delivering 'gift packages' to America, you cannot help but feel that there is a bizarre air of unreality about the whole thing. Trying to unravel the manner in which Donald Trump tries to express himself is one thing but that is as nothing when it comes to the North Korean leadership. What is very clear is that North Korea is adamant that it be allowed to develop its nuclear weapons capability without any sort of hinderance and that it won't take any interference lightly.

Of course, this is very hard to take especially when its nuclear capability is directly aimed at some of the most militarily advanced countries in the world. It is no wonder that the Americans are taking what North Korea says seriously when it comes out and says that it is developing missiles that will be capable to take nuclear warheads to the United States.

One of the interesting things about all of this is that it isn't simply a case of North Korea against the rest of the world. It does have two historic allies on its side or, at least, in the case of China an ally that it takes seriously. The other country, Russia, was a deeply historic ally but doesn't hold that much sway over North Korea these days.

But at least there are other countries out there that are capable of helping to put on the brakes during all of this war talk. Russia clearly understands North Korea's push to be a nuclear state when Vladimir Putin came out last week and said that North Korea 'would rather eat grass' than stop its nuclear capability programme. The fact that North Korea has already gone through a famine period where people actually did have to eat grass is proof enough of their commitment to their missile programme.

China is the other big player in this regional conflict and not just because both countries are communist. Mainly it has to do with the fact that China supplies most of North Korea's oil and power and so has a real 'in' with the government there. At the moment it is perhaps better to watch and listen to what China is saying to find out what exact level of threat there is coming from North Korea. If you were merely following what everyone was saying in this current round of jaw-jaw then you might be near to a nervous breakdown as it looks as if war is inevitable.

Some conflict might break out, that can be never overlooked but, at the same time, there is still a lot of talking to be done with North Korea and those on the other side of the table. It still might all sound a bit surreal and strange but that is just the manner that these particular talks are going to take with the people that are involved.


Letters to the Editor


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