Despite a failed North Korean missile launch on Sunday morning and Washington’s relatively muted response, tensions in North East Asia remain extremely high. The Trump administration is continuing to warn that military force could be used in response to any nuclear or missile test by Pyongyang.
Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster stressed that “all of our options are on the table, undergoing refinement and further development” in relation to North Korea. He said: “The president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons.”
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” program yesterday, McMaster said that in the first instance Washington would rely on Beijing to put enormous pressure on Pyongyang to bow to US demands to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. “North Korea is very vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese. Eighty percent of North Korea’s trade comes from China. All of their energy requirements are fulfilled by China,” he said.