The rhetoric that US President Donald Trump has been using in connection with North Korea is reminiscent of former US President George W. Bush’s statements on preventive war, Head of the Regional Security Department of the Defense Studies Center at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Sergei Yermakov said on Friday.
“This bellicose rhetoric could serve as a cover for the so-called preventive war doctrine, which many have already forgotten,” he said. “It is the same doctrine that George W. Bush widely used to launch the Iraq war for unclear reasons and sow chaos in the Middle East,” he added.
“If the United States continues to pursue this dangerous path, the same can happen in the Asia-Pacific region,” the expert pointed out.
According to Yermakov, the United States has been using its closest regional allies – Japan and South Korea – as kind of hostages to its aggressive policy, because North Korea’s increasing military capability poses the greatest threat to these countries.
Washington and Pyongyang have recently been exchanging sharp statements. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korea should stop threatening the United States, otherwise Washington will answer with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.” North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) later reported that Pyongyang was “carefully examining” plans for a missile strike on the Andersen Air Force Base located on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
At the same time, KCNA issued a detailed statement saying that a relevant plan is expected to be ready by mid-August. According to the plan, four Hwasong-12 missiles will fly around 3,400 kilometers, particularly crossing Japan’s airspace, and land in water 30-40 kilometers off the Guam coast. In Pyongyang’s opinion, this step will be aimed at deterring the US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
Tensions around the Korean Peninsula started to rise in light of the implementation of the North Korean missile program. In July, Pyongyang conducted two ballistic missile tests which provoked a sharp response from the United States, Japan and South Korea. Washington has been repeatedly stating that no option including the use of military force could be ruled out.