Here’s what Trump had to say about North Korea in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday:
FT: Are you going to talk about North Korea and a way forward there?
Trump: Yes, we will talk about North Korea. And China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.
FT: How ambitious do you want to be with China? Could we see a grand bargain that solves North Korea, takes American troops off the Korean peninsula and really changes the landscape out there?
FT: Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you. And do you think you can solve it without China’s help?
FT: One on one?
Trump: I don’t have to say any more. Totally.
On top of that, we have the New York Times reporting intelligence sources’ belief that we’ve reached a point in which the U.S. needs to take more drastic measures to circumvent an isolated dictator because he has weapons of mass destruction. We all remember what happened last time that scenario occurred.
But the Times isn’t the only outlet drumming up fears of North Korea’s power. NBC News is broadcasting from South Korea for the next two nights and just today, the network ran an interview with a North Korean defector named Thae Yong Ho. “If Kim Jong-un has nuclear weapons and ICBMs, he can do anything,” the defector said. “So, I think the world should be ready to deal with this kind of person.”
All of this is to say, let’s just take these developments with a healthy grain of Lithium, I mean, salt.
Forbes’ Tim Worstall points out that Lithium 6 isn’t really that difficult to make and is way easier to manufacture than enriched uranium. He also emphasizes the possibility that the online ad was planted to cause North Korea’s enemies to have this reaction. Kim Jong-un wants the world to believe he has the ability to build a working hydrogen bomb. Suddenly, the world is a little more inclined to do exactly that.
With the Trump administration demonstrating its complete ineptitude and disregard for diplomacy, this is a situation that could get out of hand quickly.