North Korea’s state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday that if the United States enforces its naval blockade against their country, it will be interpreted as an act of war, and they will “respond with merciless self-defense counter-measures as we have warned repeatedly.” This blockade was meant to enforce the trade sanctions against the regime, to pressure them to reduce their human rights abuses. White House National Security adviser HR McMaster has talked about the difficulties of dealing with North Korea on foreign policy, as even non-strike options carried the risk of leading to military escalation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said, during a visit by the South Korean leader, that “the peninsula issue must, in the end, be resolved via dialogue and consultation.” South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the presidents had agreed to cooperate in applying sanctions to put pressure on North Korea. Approximately 85% of North Korea’s imports has come from China, according to The Observatory of Economic Complexity, which makes Jinping’s comments sound suspicious. Of course, most of us don’t want war anywhere, but “dialogue and consultation” haven’t exactly improved the situation thus far. North Korea seem to depend on China to the same degree Cuba depended on the Soviet Union during the cold war – a typical trait for small Communist countries – but the difference is that China seems nowhere near collapse like the Soviet Union. Whether China actually plans to put more trade sanctions, and reduce exports to the regime, is but a mystery. China does not want US troops on North Korean ground, by their border, so it is obvious they do not wish for war in the peninsula, but the tension for conflict will keep going, and potentially increase, if it continues like it is now. South Koreans have felt this tension for over twenty years. When – or if – conflict is going to break out, seems almost unpredictable, but if this naval blockade is going to be enforced, it’s actually understandable why North Korea would view it as an act of war. They depend on their import, and without that, the regime is going to collapse. If North Korea is soon to collapse, they won’t go down without a fight.
The UN chief Antonio Guterres called for all countries to fully implement the Security Council resolutions on North Korea. When he visited Tokyo to meet Japan’s Prime Minister, he said that “the worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war.” The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has repeatedly threatened with nuclear strikes against US mainland if provoked, of which President Trump has kept responding with counter-threats. Mr. Tillerson has offered direct talks with the regime without pre-conditions. President Vladimir Putin has called Tillerson’s offer a “realistic approach”, and that a pre-emptive US strike against North Korea would be “catastrophic.” Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, claimed that the best way to solve the North Korea issue was to intensify economic pressure. He also said military action did “not look attractive.”