The Guardian reports: The war of words between the US and North Korea has escalated, with Donald Trump warning any threats would be met with “fire and fury” and Pyongyang promptly announcing it was “carefully examining” a plan to attack an American military base in the western Pacific.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running high since North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month and two nuclear bomb tests last year, which has lead to increased sanctions on the already isolated nation.
But despite two unpredictable nuclear-armed leaders trading barbs, most observers believe the possibility of conflict remains remote, with the North Korean leadership using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip rather than an offensive weapon. [Continue reading…]
Observations by Jean Lee, Wilson Center fellow, former AP Pyongyang bureau chief, Andrei Lankov, professor at Kookmin University, Seoul, and director of NK News, Jiyoung Song, senior lecturer in Korean studies, University of Melbourne, Robert Kelly, associate professor, Pusan National University, John Delury, North Korea expert, Yonsei University, Seoul, and Professor Andrew O’Neil, ballistic missile testing expert, Griffith University.