North Korea threatens missile attack on Guam if Trump keeps tweeting threats

The North Korean regime, which issues threats to destroy the United States and South Korea in a "sea of fire" and the like, and which produces videos depicting attacks on the United States, is upset at the threatening tone of some of President Trump's tweets.  Tom O'Connor of Newsweek reports:

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published Friday a new article attributed to Kim Kwang Hak, a researcher at the North Korean Foreign Ministry's Institute for American Studies, in which he blasted the Trump administration's pursuit of joint drills with Japan and South Korea, as well as the president's militant "letters" on Twitter. In tweets, the Republican leader has suggested the U.S. may seek to disarm North Korea's nuclear and ballistic weapons arsenal by force, and Kim wrote that such threats have led North Korea to revive an earlier plan to attack the Pacific island.

"We have already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defense including a salvo of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam, an advance base for invading the DPRK, where key U.S. bases are located, as the U.S. has resorted to military actions in sensitive regions, making the waters off the Korean peninsula and in the Pacific restless," Kim wrote, using an abbreviation for the country's official diplomatic name—the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The U.S. military action hardens our determination that the U.S. should be tamed with fire and lets us take our hand closer to 'trigger' for taking the toughest countermeasure," he added.

Kim Jong-un probably is not stupid enough to carry out this threat.  Reportedly, China's position is that if the U.S. attacks North Korea, it will have to defend the regime, but if Kim attacks the U.S. first, then China will not defend North Korea.  This makes sense, so it is probably true.  The U.S. absolutely does not want war with China, and vice versa.  If Kim disrupts this situation with an attack, then I suspect there is already an understanding between the two superpowers about what will follow and how to replace the Kim regime with something at least acceptable.  This could even include Chinese (temporary) occupation of North Korea and installation of a more moderate puppet.  The Kim half-brother assassinated in Kuala Lumpur was widely believed to be China's designated successor to Kim Jong-un should the latter's removal become essential.

If anything, this new round of bluster from Pyongyang is a sign of desperation.  But if a tweet results in war, it will be a 21st-century version of a high-tech telecom trigger of war like the 20th century's Zimmerman Telegram, widely credited with helping push the U.S. into war with Germany a century ago.  In the early 20th century, telegrams were state-of-the-art telecom.

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