Former Pentagon desk officer for South Korea, James Faeh says that although a war with North Korea is not likely, the U.S. simply cannot risk the possibility the situation to get out of control.
In an interview with Focus Washington, Faeh says that he considers that the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is using tough talk mostly for his domestic audience.
“It’s important to remember that all politics is local, even in Pyongyang, so that tough talk is really for domestic audience to make them feel strong, to make them feel protected by Kim Jong-un. He’s casting America as the Great Satan and it requires only him to be able to protect them from this imminent threat,” Faeh says.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump rhetoric is also “extraordinarily problematic,” Faeh notes.
“I think this rhetoric is extraordinarily problematic, maybe it’s a nicer way of saying it, it’s dangerous and irresponsible to have this much belligerence. I think that in terms of actual policy decisions and execution, this is a little bit of a case of the same old wine but in a new wine bottle, and the label is in now in all caps, as he tweets out a lot of these things,” the Korea expert explains.
During the interview with Focus Washington’s Chuck Conconi, Faeh also referred to Kim Jong-un’s strategy, Trump’s reactions, as well as the probabilities of a prospective arms race in Northeast Asia.